The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that transgender people are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Gender dysphoria is a "disability" following a 2020 case where a transgender woman, Kesha Williams, sued because she was incarcerated with men and had her hormone replacement therapy withheld. Williams claimed that this caused her great "emotional, psychological, and physical distress."
"Reflecting this shift in medical understanding, we and other courts have thus explained that a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, unlike that of 'gender identity disorder,' concerns itself primarily with distress and other disabling symptoms, rather than simply being transgender," Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote in the opinion.
"Williams does not merely allege that gender dysphoria may require physical treatment such as hormone therapy; she maintains that her gender dysphoria requires it," Motz added.
The decision will ensure that all transgender people will be provided with any medical services needed related to their gender dysphoria.
The ADA became law in 1990.
The ADA "prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public," the website reads.
"The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion."