• Frances Hui

Trump administration considers redefining transgender in legislation

Original publication

First trans solidarity rally and march, Washington, DC USA

Transgender Americans and supporters are outraged by a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggesting to legally define sex according to biological genitalia at birth.

In a memo published by The New York Times, the HHS argued that main government departments needed to adopt an explicit and unitary definition of sex, either male or female, determined by the genitals a person is born with, as “a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”

“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,” the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating in the department since last spring, further explained.

Within hours of the memo’s reveal, trans people shared their personal stories and pictures on social media with the hashtag #WeWontBeErased. In the evening right after the Times’ article was published, hundreds of people rallied in New York City’s Washington Square Park. On Monday, protesters gathered in front of the White House, waving pride flags, holding signs, and chanting “Stand up, fight back!”

Several Hollywood actors and political figures supported the transgender community by tweeting  #TransRightsAreHumanRights.

The legal concept of sex under Title IX, federal legislation passed to prohibit gender discrimination “under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” was loosened during Obama era, taking account of one’s gender identity and sexual orientation.

While the policy affected areas such as schools, bathrooms and dormitories, HHS stated in the memo that the it “led to confusion and negative policy consequences in health care, education and other federal contexts,” according to The New York Times.

As of Tuesday, HHS still refused to comment on “alleged leaked documents.

President Trump was questioned on Monday morning in the White House about his earlier commitment to protect American’s LGBTQ community.

“We’re looking at it,” Trump said. “We have a lot of different concepts right now. They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now.”

He emphasized that he would protect everyone in the nation. “I want to protect our country,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration  took steps to disqualify most transgender people from military services. The State Department also implemented a policy denying visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and staff from international organizations in the U.S.

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