The Trump-Pence administration is on the attack against the LGBTQ community once again. This time the Department of Health and Human Services is leading an initiative to establish legal definition of sex that will deny the existence of trans people according to a memo obtained by the New York Times.
The administration is hoping to establish that legal definition under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance.
“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the memo reads, according to the Times. “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.”
If this anti-queer policy goes into effect, only genetic testing can be used to legally dispute sex specified on a birth certificate.
Meaning, if this anti-queer policy goes into effect, only the homophobic and transphobic Trump administration can decide what gender you can identify with.
This could mean a major setback to the progress made under the Obama administration in regards to more fluid definitions of sex and gender when accessing federal public services like healthcare and facilities at public schools and universities.
Although this is by far the most extreme attack yet, the Trump administration has been consistent in working towards removing federal protections for the LGBTQ community. Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced the creation of a “Religious Liberty” Task force intended to “protect freedom of religion.”
Don’t be fooled, all this “task force” is intending to protect is a license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community using religion to justify discirmination.
Also earlier this year, Trump signed a memorandum banning some transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.
All these new anti-LGBTQ agencies and memorandums mean a serious and dangerous regression to a time where federal protections excluded people from the queer community. What this does is leave queer people vulnerable in every sense.
“This is a direct attack on the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people and, if this administration refuses to reverse course, Congress must immediately take action by advancing the Equality Act to ensure that LGBTQ people are explicitly protected by our nation’s civil rights laws,” the Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, state in a press release responding to the NYT article.
We are all human beings and deserve access to healthcare and the right to live as the gender we identify with. We can’t go back to a time where queer people had to choose to whether to go back into the closet or receive medical care or receive federal benefits.