Trump administration could rollback transgender protections and initiatives from Obama era

Frederick Owens
October 23, 2018

According to the story, in its memo, HHS proposed that for purposes of Title IX, "Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth".

Created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the memo argues "that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined 'on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective, and administrable, '" according to the Times.

Sex would be defined by a person's birth certificate, with any disputes settled with DNA testing.

US President Donald Trump and his administration are considering implementing a memo that would change the definition of sex and negatively affect an estimated 1.4 million people in the US who do not identify as their birth gender. In it, he said, "More trans children will commit suicide".

The Trump administration has already tried to implement a transgender military ban, rolled back Obama-era protections for trans students and inmates, and eliminated questions pertaining directly to gender identity on the 2020 Census.

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It did release a statement from Roger Severino, head of its Office for Civil Rights, saying his agency was reviewing the issue while abiding by the 2016 ruling from the Texas-based federal judge, Reed O'Connor.

LGBTQ activists from the National Center for Transgender Equality and partner organizations hold signs with the names of transgender people from across the country during a "We Will Not Be Erased" rally in front of the White House on Monday in Washington, DC.

Chairman Chad Griffin described the alleged proposal as "the latest effort in a consistent, multi-pronged campaign by the Trump-Pence White undermine the rights and welfare of LGBTQ people".

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".

Hillary Clinton tweeted her support, writing: "This is an attack on the humanity of transgender people and it can not stand. Let's send a clear message that we won't sit back and allow this type of discrimination in two weeks at the ballot box". Current law protects transgender people from discrimination under Title 7 and Title 9. "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". It would need to be signed off by the departments of Justice, Labor and Education, which are also involved with civil rights enforcement.

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