New York Times report that the Trump-Pence Administration intends to redefine “sex” to intentionally exclude LGBTQ people and their families from non-discrimination protections. According to the report, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning to release regulations narrowly defining “sex” in an anti-transgender way that guts enforcement of existing civil rights protections for LGBTQ people. The Administration’s plans are in direct conflict with a growing trend in federal court decisions affirming that sexual orientation and gender identity are covered under our nation’s civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination based on “sex.” This is the latest effort in a consistent, multi-pronged campaign by the Trump-Pence White House over the past two years to undermine the rights and welfare of LGBTQ people.
“Setting a destructive precedent, the Trump-Pence administration intends to erase LGBTQ people from federal civil rights protections and eviscerate enforcement of non-discrimination laws,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “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. 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.”
“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,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, in a statement to Refinery29.
According to the NYT, about 1.4 million transgender Americans would lose federal recognition under this new definition of gender.
The Trevor Project said in a statement that they have seen a significant rise in contacts from young transgender and non-binary people in the past year, now over 30% of their total crisis volume. “Trevor will always be here to let LGBTQ youth know they are not alone, we will always fight to keep LGBTQ youth safe, and we are exploring options to push back against any policy decisions that tell LGBTQ youth they should not exist,” they said. “And as always we will be available 24/7 for any and all LGBTQ youth in their moment of crisis.”