The Chicago City Council Committee on Human Relations unanimously advanced a resolution from the five members of the Council's LGBT Caucus and Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) condemning a proposed Trump administration policy change that would essentially define gender identity for federal law purposes by one's genitalia at birth.
The federal policy, which was first reported by the New York Times Oct. 21, would adopt such a policy for Title IX funding.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward)who, along with Alds. Deb Mell (33rd Ward), Ray Lopez (15th Ward), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) and James Cappleman (46th Ward), is a member of the LGBT caucuscalled the federal proposal called the proposal "blatant discrimination."
"I'm not shocked anymore by the rhetoric coming out of Washington," he added. "We have to protect our LGBT brothers and sisters."
Cappleman said the proposed policy "flies in the face of compassion and understanding, and it flies in the face of science."
The City Council's resolution, which will be before the full Council Dec. 12, calls for "President Donald Trump and [the] Department of Health and Human Services to cease attempts to define gender as [a] biological, immutable condition, and calls for the City of Chicago to support and affirm lives in the transgender and intersex community. "
Commission on Human Relations Commissioner Mona Noriega detailed a number of attempts by the Trump administration to roll back transgender rights and noted protections that are available locally.
"The Trump administration's consideration of a fixed gender definition may lead to a myriad of legal, medical and and social problems for transgender and intersex people," she added.
A witness identifying herself only as "Rachel," who is the mother of a transgender girl in the fifth grade, said that her child had been happiest since she'd been allowed to live as the gender with which she identified.
"Our gender identity is like airwe don't realize we have it until something goes wrong," Rachel explained.
Also testifying in favor of the resolution were Ed Yohnka of ACLU of Illinois, Channyn Lynne Parker of Broadway Youth Center and Anthony Galloway of ACLU of Illinois. Another witness, who regularly attends and speaks at City Council committee meetings, spouted random anti-LGBT rhetoric in his testimony and praised Trump. Alds. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th Ward) and Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward) both asked to be added as co-sponsors of the resolution.