The Trump administration is reportedly
considering a rule change that would define “sex” to mean a
person's biological gender at birth.
According to The
New York Times, which broke the story, the proposed change
would define sex as either male or female – an immutable
characteristic defined at birth by a person's genitals. Genetic
testing would be required to challenge a person's own sex.
The Times wrote that the
proposal would amount to “defining transgender out of existence.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, responded by calling on
Congress to approve the Equality Act, a bill that seeks to prohibit
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Pelosi promises top priority for LGBT Equality Act, if Democrats
“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,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.
“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 move is the latest salvo in an
ongoing war against the transgender community. The Trump
administration is currently seeking to ban transgender troops and has
reversed Obama-era guidance on allowing transgender students
attending public schools to use the bathroom of their choice. The
Department of Justice has argued that federal laws prohibiting sex
discrimination in the workplace do not apply to people who are LGBT.
The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) called the reported roll-back an “attack on the very lives
and existence of transgender people” and vowed to challenge the
administration in court.
“If the Trump administration moves
forward with these hateful and hurtful policies, they will once again
be met with opposition in courts and in communities,” the ACLU said
in a statement. “More and more courts are seeing that policies
targeting transgender people have no place in our country.”