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Report: Trump may remove transgender rights from federal civil rights law
2018-10-21

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The Trump administration is considering defining gender on the basis of genitalia at birth—which would surely rescind protections of transgender people under federal civil-rights law and threaten trans-related rights in agencies, The New York Times reported.

The Obama administration took the opposite approach, broadening the legal concept of gender in federal programs. However, the current incarnation of the Department of Health and Human Services is leading an effort to establish a legal definition of "sex" under the federal civil-rights statute Title IX.

"Setting a destructive precedent, the Trump-Pence administration intends to erase LGBTQ people from federal civil rights protections and eviscerate enforcement of non-discrimination laws," said Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) President Chad Griffin in a statement. "Defining 'sex' in this narrow language tailored to the talking points of anti-equality extremists is part of a deliberate strategy to eliminate federal protections for LGBTQ people.

"This is a direct attack on the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people and, if this administration refuses to reverse course, Congress must immediately take action by advancing the Equality Act to ensure that LGBTQ people are explicitly protected by our nation's civil-rights laws."

The HRC statement listed possible scenarios that could develop for LGBTQ people in federal government. They include individuals and same-sex couples being turned away from places such as homeless shelters; or transgender people having their insurance denied for transition-related care.p>

In a separate statement, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "This proposal is an attempt to put heartless restraints on the lives of 2 million people, effectively abandoning our right to equal access to health care, to housing, to education, or to fair treatment under the law. This administration is willing to disregard the established medical and legal view of our rights and ourselves to solidify an archaic, dogmatic and frightening view of the world. This transparent political attack will not succeed administratively, legally, or morally."

ACLU LGBT & HIV Project Director James Esseks said in another release, "This is an attack on the very lives and existence of transgender people. It is painful, it is hateful, and it will not go unchallenged."

The New York Times article is at www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html.


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