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Donald Trump is expected to remove Obama-era protections for transgender prisoners

Finn Oldfield January 8, 2018
Donald Trump

Donald Trump holds an LGBT rainbow flag given to him by supporter Max Nowak during a campaign rally at the Bank of Colorado Arena on the campus of University of Northern Colorado October 30, 2016 in Greeley, Colorado. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

President Donald Trump is expected to rollback Obama-era protections for transgender inmates in the coming weeks.

The guidelines were provided by the Obama administration and have been under evaluation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) since last year.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons released guidelines protecting trans inmates two days before Trump became President.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 7: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House following a weekend trip with Republican leadership and members of his cabinet at Camp David, on January 7, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
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The manual stated “respect” must be given to the “safety” of transgender inmates and that they could be moved to prisons matching their own gender, on a case-by-case basis.

The threat to these guidelines may come in the form of a legal settlement to a federal lawsuit filed in August.

Anti-Trump Protesters Demonstrate In Times Square Against Trump Announcement Of Banning LGBT Service Members
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Four evangelical Christian women in a Texas prison filed the case in an attempt to challenge the guidelines which allow trans women to avoid being placed in male prisons.

Rhonda Fleming, Jeanette Driever, Charlsa Little and Brenda Rhames are all serving sentences of four years or longer at a federal prison in Fort Worth.

“My bodily rights are being violated by the Defendants housing men in the prison,” lead plaintiff Rhonda Fleming, a Trump supporter, wrote in January 2017 misgendering the trans prisoners.

“I am being humiliated and degraded every day so that men that identify as women can be comfortable,” she added.

THURMONT, MD - JANUARY 6: U.S. President Donald Trump listens as Republican leadership takes turns speaking to the media at Camp David on January 6, 2018 in Thurmont, Maryland. President Trump met with staff, members of his Cabinet and Republican members of Congress to discuss the Republican legislative agenda for 2018. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
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“The rights of naturally born women are ignored,” she added, transphobically.

The far-right Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) are the ones arguing for trans women to be segregated from non-trans women.

The group has also defended the Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple.

(Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

Requiring trans women to be housed in all-male prisons — or separating them in women’s institutions — just because other inmates have called for their expulsion could against the Obama administration’s regulations, experts have said.

“Specialised housing is flatly inconsistent” with the regulations, said Margo Schlanger, a civil rights and criminal detention expert at the University of Michigan Law School.

“If it’s confining [transgender inmates] not to protect them, but to protect others from them, that does not comply,” they added.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 7: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House following a weekend trip with Republican leadership and members of his cabinet at Camp David, on January 7, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
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The Trump administration removing these protections may subject the 473 self-identifying trans people in federal prisons to “physical violence” and “rape,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

The DOJ and ADF are reportedly in negotiations to settle out of court, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Protesters gather in front of the White House on July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
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This latest attack on trans people is consistent with the Trump adminstration’s approach in targeting LGBT rights.

Last month, a court blocked Trump’s ban on trans people joining the military.

Trump’s attacks on the LGBT community have also come by way of removing Obama-era protections for trans children in school.

The Obama administration was a strong advocate for LGBT rights, passionately supporting the legalisation of same-sex marriage which happened during his time in office.

More: anti lgbt, Barack Obama, Discrimination, Donald Trump, president donald trump, prisoners, Prisons, Trans, Transgender, transphobic, Trump, US, US

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