The American Academy of Family Physicians has approved a resolution opposing state and federal laws prohibiting transgender people from using public facilities that match their identity.
Stating the resolution reaffirms the organization’s longstanding antidiscrimination policy, the AAFP said delegates specifically focused on the issue of public facilities as a reaction to recent legislation restricting transgender people’s access to public accommodations. According to the AAFP, of the 21 state bills related to transgender issues in 2015, 17 of them restricted access to bathrooms, locker rooms or sports.
“Although these issues can be divisive, clearly so-called bathroom bills are discriminatory, and the AAFP has longstanding policy against discrimination,” John Meigs Jr., MD, AAFP president-elect, said in a press release.
According to the academy, laws restricting transgender people’s access to the public facilities that match their identity can compromise their safety and health. Specifically, delegates cited the psychological and physical fallout from such laws.
Studies have shown that the inability to use bathroom facilities, or avoiding them, can lead to dehydration, kidney infections and urinary tract infections, the academy said.
According to the AAFP, the organization’s antidiscrimination policy opposes “all discrimination in any form, including but not limited to, that on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic affiliation, health, age, disability, economic status, body habitus or national origin.”