Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general urging the Trump Administration to abandon efforts to adopt a definition of "sex" that would exclude transgender and gender nonconforming individuals from the protections of federal civil rights laws.
Last month, it was reported that key officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were considering adopting a definition of sex as an immutable, binary biological trait determined by or before birthand that the Department was urging other agencies, including the Department of Education, to do the same. Such a restrictive definition would effectively exclude transgender and gender nonconforming individuals from the protections of critical federal civil rights laws, including Title IX and the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
"Civil rights laws are crucial to ensuring access to healthcare and education and the administration should abandon this effort to discriminate against transgender individuals," Madigan said.
In their letter to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Madigan and the other attorneys general assert that "despite clear evidence of the serious harms that discrimination continues to inflict on the transgender community, the Administration seems intent not only on rolling back existing federal civil rights protections for this vulnerable population, but also denying transgender people even basic recognition."
Joining Madigan in sending the letter were the attorneys general of the following states: California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
—From a press release