October 8, 2013
The GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project (GLBTQ-DVP) and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) have filed briefs with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination on behalf of a gay male survivor of domestic violence who was denied access to facial reconstruction surgery by The R.O.S.E. Fund. The Commission had previously found that there was probable cause in this case that discrimination had occurred.
The R.O.S.E. Fund established a partnership with leading healthcare institutions to provide free or low-cost reconstructive surgery to survivors of domestic violence. Through this program, R.O.S.E. refers survivors to institutions such as Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Tufts Dental School. But they denied a referral to the complainant because he is a man.
“Our client is precisely the person to whom R.O.S.E. provides services, but for his sex: he was injured as a result of domestic violence and he was in financial need,” said Bennett Klein, Senior Attorney at GLAD. “There is nothing R.O.S.E. needed to do differently to refer a man as opposed to a woman. Denying our client these services was straightforward discrimination.”