Trump Administration Plans to Erase Transgender People from Civil Rights Laws


The Trump administration has continued its attack on people who identify as transgender in a new memo sent to major government agencies that seeks to narrowly define gender.

According to the memo, obtained by The New York Times, The Department of Health and Human Services wants to put a legal definition of gender in place under Title IX. This definition would limit the meaning to “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,” according to the memo.

According to the New York Times, this is the most drastic move yet that the Trump administration has taken to attack members of the LGBTQ+ community.

What this means is that the basis of gender would depend on the sex that you were assigned at birth. This memo has tried to erase transgender people from the protection of Title IX. In short, transgender people would not be covered under federal law.

If implemented, the administration would be taking away Obama era policies that let people define their own gender identity regardless of their sex.

“This proposal is an attempt to put heartless restraints on the lives of 2 million people, effectively abandoning our right to equal access to health care, to housing, to education, or to fair treatment under the law,” Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality, said in statement issued by the organization. “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. This transparent political attack will not succeed administratively, legally, or morally.”

Keisling goes on to say what this memo will not do: it will not eliminate the rulings that dozens of federal courts have made that declare the rights of transgender people.

It cannot take back decisions that have already been made. She says that what this administration is trying to do is a direct attack on the lives of transgender people, but she, among other people and human rights organizations, will not take this outright attack on the rights of transgender individuals.

“Thousands of us have devoted our lives to protecting you and your families, and our ability to do so is nothing short of a privilege,” Keisling said. “And we will not lay down now.”

Civil rights groups like the National Center for Transgender Equality are already fighting back against the possibility of this memo becoming implemented. Activists are already protesting in front of the White House and the Transgender Law Center has called the memo “an attempt to erase our very existence as transgender people,” according to Time Magazine.

“Defining ‘sex’ in this narrow language tailored to the talking points of anti-equality extremists is part of a deliberate strategy to eliminate federal protections for LGBTQ people,” said Chad Griffin, president of The Human Rights Champaign in a statement released by the group.

This is not the first time that the Trump administration has attacked members of the LGBTQ+ community, this comes after Trump trying to ban transgender people from the military, an action that was blocked by courts last year.

So, what can you do to stop this administration from doing this and making other attacks on the LGTBQ+ community? Vote. Vote out the people who are letting this happen. Vote in people who are going to be able to make a positive change in the government. Your voice needs to be heard and this election is an important one. Make sure you’re registered and make that vote count!