Trump Administration Aims to Erase All Rights for Transgender People

Blanche Robertson
October 22, 2018

According to a Health and Human Services memo obtained by the publication, the administration refers to the Title IX law under the 1972 Education Amendments Act to justify its attempts.

The definition is integral to two proposed rules now under review at the White House: one from the Education Department deals with complaints of sex discrimination at schools and colleges receiving federal financial assistance; the other, from health and human services, deals with health programs and activities that receive federal funds or subsidies. The Transgender Law Center said that the proposal is an effort "to erase our very existence as trans people", and accused the Trump administration of planning "the destruction of our communities".

The department was terse in its response, saying it did not comment on "alleged leaked documents".

"Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth", noted the HHS memo, which reportedly first made the rounds last spring.

The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognise themselves - surgically or otherwise - as a gender other than the one they were born into.

The objective of the redefinition is to deny transgender people protection under federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

In the past, Roger Severino, head of the Office of Civil Rights accused the Obama administration of a "radical gender ideology". It said additionally that HHS officials were looking to a 2016 federal court ruling on a provision of Obamacare, where Judge Reed O'Connor said, "Congress did not understand "sex" to include 'gender identity'".

Sex would be defined by a person's birth certificate, with any disputes settled with DNA testing.

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The Obama-era protections sparked a fierce backlash from many conservative groups, especially evangelical Christians, in regards to public restrooms, dormitory housing and same-sex programs.

Gupta worked in the Justice Department's civil rights division during the Obama administration, and in her statement, said civil rights groups would use "every tool" they could to counter the reported Trump administration move.

HHS will likely also encourage other federal agencies to follow suit in their severely restrictive and narrow definition of sex.

"Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military".

A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. estimated that almost 4,000 transgender troops were on active duty and in the reserves, Politico reported.

"Everyone needs to vote on 6 November like lives depend on it - because they do", said Diego Sanchez of PFlag National, an LGBT rights group, at a press conference in Washington.

He said "the goal of this rule is to erase transgender people from existence, to write them off from federal law, and to institute a definition that is contrary to case law, contrary to medical and scientific understanding, and contrary to the lived experience of transgender people".

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