TUCSON, Arizona – A Federal District Court Judge has issued a ruling approving a final class settlement in the case Toomey v. State of Arizona. Filed in 2019, the ACLU of Arizona, the ACLU’s LGBT Project, and law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP brought forward a class action lawsuit against the State of Arizona and the Arizona Board of Regents for denying medically necessary, gender-confirming healthcare to transgender people employed by the state. The consent decree permanently prohibits the state of Arizona from excluding gender-affirming care from its employee health plan.
The Court further denied a request from Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Ben Toma to weigh in on the case via an Amicus Curiae.
"The relief from Governor Hobbs' Executive Order in June of this year was immeasurable. Finding out that the Federal Judge in my case, the Honorable Márquez, ordered the permanent removal of the exclusion of gender affirming surgical care from our state employee health insurance provides even greater relief,” said Dr. Russell Toomey, the lead plaintiff in the case. “My soul is full of joy knowing that I and other current and future Arizonans will be able receive the medical care coverage necessary to live our lives fully and authentically."
“After nearly five years of litigation, we have finally achieved equal access to healthcare coverage for trans state employees,” said Christine Wee, ACLU of Arizona senior staff attorney. “This is a victory for all state employees defeating this clear violation of federal civil rights law once and for all.”
“We are incredibly pleased with the result here, which enshrines the rights of Arizona citizens to seek life-saving medical care without fear of discrimination, and deeply inspired by and appreciative of our client Dr. Russell B. Toomey, who courageously shared his life and journey in the pursuit of these rights,” said Jordan C. Wall, partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. “We are grateful to partner with our co-counsel at the ACLU and ACLU of Arizona – the team’s experience and passion were instrumental to achieving this result."