Gender-Confirmation Surgery at VA

On April 15, 2024, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) filed a second federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), challenging VA’s denial of TAVA’s 2016 rulemaking petition requesting gender-affirming surgery. VA’s denial of TAVA’s petition came after nearly eight years of no response—and nearly three years of Secretary McDonough publicly promising to provide the care it requested. TAVA’s lawsuit contends that VA’s denial of the petition’s request for necessary medical care for transgender veterans violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the Constitution, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.  

TAVA’s lawsuit challenges VA’s denial of its rulemaking petition, which maintains its refusal to provide gender-affirming surgery at VA. The lawsuit follows an earlier one filed by TAVA in January 2024, which sought a court order that VA formally respond to TAVA’s 2016 rulemaking petition requesting gender-affirming surgery. In response, VA breached its repeated public promises to make gender-affirming surgery available by denying TAVA’s petition.

The suit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The clinic is counsel for TAVA.



Petition and Exhibits (April 19, 2024)

Read the letter sent to the VA

Read TAVA’s 2016 petition for rulemaking

Read the mandamus petition with appendix (Jan. 25, 2024)


Press and Media

Yale veterans clinic sues VA over gender confirmation surgery” WSHU, April 15, 2024

Transgender Veterans Sue V.A. Over Gender-Affirming SurgeriesThe New York Times, April 15, 2024

Transgender Veterans Sue to Force VA to Cover Gender-Affirmation Surgeries” Military.com, April 15. 2024

Transgender veterans file 2nd lawsuit against VA for gender-affirming surgery coverage” NBC News, April 15, 2024

"Trans veterans were promised access to gender-affirming surgeries — but it never happened" The 19th, Jan. 25, 2024

Transgender Veterans Sue to Have Gender-Affirming Surgery Covered by Department of Veteran AffairsTime (AP), Jan. 25, 2024

"'Illegal and So Awful': Yale Law Students Turn to Court Over Transgender Policy" Law.com, Jan. 26, 2024

"Transgender veterans sue the VA for gender-affirming surgery" NBC News, Jan. 25, 2024