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What They’re Saying: Trump Administration Plans to 'Erase' Transgender Definition 

by Countable | 10.22.18

What’s the story?

  • The Trump administration is reportedly planning to narrowly define gender as a biological, fixed condition determined by genitalia at birth—a move that could drastically reduce federal protections for transgender people.
“The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence,” the Department of Health and Human Services memo says, according to the New York Times, which broke the story.
  • DHS is spearheading the effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination. 

What’s the reaction?

  • Transgender Americans have vowed they #WontBeErased.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted:
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said the administration was proposing "another terrible, discriminatory policy."
  • Jordan Evans, a transgender Republican – who’s also a town constable and elected library trustee in Charlton, Massachusetts - told the Washington Post she’s “absolutely distraught.”
“Not so much afraid for me,” clarified Evans, who began to transition in 2015. “I’m afraid for people who are younger than me—people who don’t have the kind of experiences in the world that I’ve had. They see this, and they’re rightfully terrified.”
  • Transgender advocate and whistleblower Chelsea Manning said that laws "don't determine our existence."
  • Others pointed out that this move goes against President Trump’s campaign pledge to protect LGBTQ Americans:
  • HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley told USA TODAY that the department did not comment on "alleged leaked documents."
"A federal court has blocked HHS’s rule on gender identity and termination of pregnancy as contrary to law and infringing the rights of healthcare providers across the country. The court order remains in full force and effect today and HHS is abiding by it as we continue to review the issue.”

What do you think?

Do you support Trump administration efforts to define gender as unchanging and biologically determined at birth? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman


(Photo Credit: @StevenCanals via Twitter)

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