Trump administration eyeing new policy that could legally erase millions of transgender people
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.
According to The New York Times, the leaked proposal – that was released by the Department of Health and Human Services – begins: “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.
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.”
Perhaps most worryingly, the report also goes on to claim that the department urges the administration to determine a more rigorous and uniform definition of gender “grounded in science” and that a person’s sex, once identified, be unchangeable.
If rolled out legally, the policy would undo the work the Obama administration did, under Title IX, to loosen federal regulations regarding gender and to ban gender discrimination in education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
The National Center for Transgender Equality called the proposal “a heartless attack” on [trans] rights and “an attempt to put restraints on the lives of millions of people, effectively abandoning our right to equal access to health care, to housing, to education, or to fair treatment under the law.”
Since news of the memo broke, the organisation has launched a #WontBeErased hashtag on Twitter and called for supporters to attend a protest rally at the White House on Monday 22 October.
This isn’t the first time trans rights have been threatened since Trump was elected in November 2016.
Since he took office, transgender people have struggled to maintain their right to use whichever bathroom best suits their identified gender.
In July 2017, he tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…
“Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming… victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Earlier this year, Trump attempted to ban transgender people from serving in the US military again, on similar grounds, claiming that they “may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery.” The policy stated that such persons would therefore be disqualified from enlisting or continuing their existing careers.
Each time, the bans were met with several legal challenges and eventually blocked.