The Trump administration is said to be working on rules that will attempt to define gender strictly based on one’s reproductive organs at birth — effectively trying to erase gender identity provisions put in place by the Obama administration.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is leading “an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance,” according to a report in The New York Times on a draft proposal.
Such an approach would make the determination “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,” according to a leaked memo from the HHS obtained by the New York Times.
California State Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) voiced his opposition to the proposal, citing negative consequences that could result from the rule change: “By defining gender as birth-assigned gender only, the Trump Administration is trying to erase transgender people out of existence – consistent with the Administration’s effort to erase LGBT people from health surveys and the census. This action will have profound consequences. More trans children will commit suicide. More trans people will be assaulted and murdered. Trans people will be less healthy and less visible. Trump wants us to be invisible – to go away. We won’t go away. And, California will continue to fully embrace our trans brothers and sisters and LGBT people generally.”
LGBT civil rights advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Sunday called for the Trump administration not to go forward with a rollback of protections for transgender people.
“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,” the group’s president, Chad Griffin, said in a statement.
HRC is among the nation’s most prominent LGBTQ rights groups, and its statement Sunday called on Congress to pass legislation enshrining protections it says are at threat should the Trump administration go forward with the reported plan.
HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley declined to comment to CNN “on alleged leaked documents,” and a statement from Roger Severino, the head of HHS’ office of civil rights, said HHS was following a court order blocking a rule on gender identity.
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