HHS Wants To Adopt Scientifically Accurate Definitions Of 'Sex' And 'Gender'

Frederick Owens
October 22, 2018

According to NYT, this move by the Department of Health and Human Services would deny 1.4 million Americans their federal recognition and protection.

The timing of the report suggests transgender rights will be a Democratic campaign hot button before the November midterms.

The move would be the most significant of a series of manoeuvres large and small, to exclude the population from civil rights protections and roll back the Obama administration's more fluid recognition of gender identity.

The Department of Health and Human Services could establish a legal definition of gender under Title IX, which would be based on a person's genitalia at birth, a memo obtained by the news outlet showed.

It went on to say: "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".

Civil rights organizations and members of the LGBTQ community are stunned and furious about a reported Trump administration plan to severely narrow the legal definition of gender.

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The Trump administration may rollback an Obama-era push to recognize and protect broader definitions of gender, according to a New York Times report.

Chelsea Clinton also voiced her disapproval, writing: "The Trump Administration 'Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence, ' at a moment when transgender Americans face high levels of discrimination and violence". Those who challenge the government definition legally would have to submit to genetic testing, according to the report. The proposal could formally be presented to the Justice Department by the end of the year, sources told the Times.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declined to comment on what she called "allegedly leaked documents" but cited a ruling by a conservative U.S. district judge as a guide to transgender policy.

Judge Reed O'Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, ruled in 2016 that "Congress did not understand "sex" to include "gender identity" when it passed the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

"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", writes Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, in a statement. Title IX is the federal law that bars gender discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding. Under Trump, several agencies have withdrawn policies that recognise transgender identity in schools, prisons and homeless shelters, and there was even an attempt to withdraw questions about gender identity from the 2020 census.

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