URBANA, Ill. – Lambda Legal has announced that it learned late last Friday of the death of Naya Taylor, who unexpectedly passed away after complications from a heart attack.


Lambda Legal was representing Ms. Taylor, a transgender woman, in an unrelated federal discrimination lawsuit because she had been denied medical care that is routinely provided to non-transgender patients.


“We are deeply saddened by Naya’s death and send our sympathy to her family and friends,” said Christopher Clark, Counsel in Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office based in Chicago. “She was a passionate advocate for the transgender community and we are incredibly proud to have represented her in her fight to be respected as a transgender woman seeking routine medical care.”


Taylor contacted Lambda Legal after her doctor refused a request for hormone replacement therapy. Transgender people face staggering amounts of discrimination in health care settings on a daily basis, but Ms. Taylor recognized the unique challenges in accessing health care transgender people who live in rural areas face.


“To our knowledge, Naya’s case was the country’s first transgender discrimination case filed under the Affordable Care Act,” said M. Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project Director. “Naya was a proud transgender woman who spoke out to make sure no one is turned away from needed health care due to bias and discrimination. I am devastated to learn of her passing. We will honor Naya’s life by continuing to fight health care discrimination against all transgender people.”


Read more about the case here.



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