Esquivel v. Oregon

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Alec Esquivel

Transgender rights case in which a state employee was denied insurance coverage for medically necessary surgery on the basis of his gender identity.

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Alec Esquivel is a law school graduate who is clerking for the Oregon Court of Appeals. Assigned female sex at birth, he was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) in 2001 and began to take steps to have his body match his male gender identity. In 2010, as part of his transition-related health plan, Alec sought insurance coverage for a hysterectomy, a procedure that routinely is covered for other employees under the state’s health plan. Esquivel's doctor then submitted a request for insurance coverage. On June 21, 2010, Esquivel was denied based on the plan's categorical exclusion of transition-related health care, a violation of Oregon's antidiscrimination guarantees. Lambda Legal's lawsuit seeks recognition that denying a public employee the same coverage that others receive because of the employee's gender identity violates Oregon's Equality Act and its guarantees of equal treatment in the workplace regardless of gender identity.