The Trump administration is looking to end the legal recognition of the term ‘transgender’ going forward, according to a memo obtained by the New York Times yesterday.
Using the language of Title IX, a law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, the Department of Health and Human Services are saying ‘transgender’ should be defined out of existence, arguing that agencies need to adopt a sole, unifying definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”
As listed on the Department of Education website, the wording of the original 1972 Title IX legislation is as follows:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
While vague, under the Obama Administration the legal interpretation of gender was purposely made fluid so that in federal programs, like education and healthcare, gender could be recognized as an individual’s choice, not only by the sex assigned at birth.
This is horrifying. These inhumane, cruel, and discriminatory policies are dangerous and do not represent the needs of our diverse communities. https://t.co/qQaVwnGamI
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) October 21, 2018
But Trump rescinded all of Obama’s guidelines in early 2017, essentially nullifying the protection for transgender people. Now, Trump wants to take it further by narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.
Back in 2015, there was an uproar in Charlotte over who could use who’s bathrooms. It became a big deal when the NBA decided to pull it’s All-Star game from the southern city and an even bigger deal when the European Union commented on it.
It was settled in 2017 when Charlotte’s council passed House Bill 142 — a law to replace House Bill 2, which is mostly known for requiring transgender people to use the restroom, locker room or showers in government buildings and schools that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate, rather than their gender identity. Now, Trump can effectively bypass all of those stipulations with his new terminology for sex.
The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times.
Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing, the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. McCrory wrote to council member Ed Driggs,
“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth. 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. Changing basic long-established values and norms of access to public restrooms is misguided and has major statewide ramifications.”
“This shift in policy could also create major public safety issues by putting citizens in possible danger from deviant actions by individuals taking improper advantage of a bad policy.”
What this could mean is possibly eradicating federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.
As midterms approach there are going to be key seats in both the House and Senate that could go into signing these upcoming decisions. You don’t want to miss out on being heard.