Published: Mon, October 22, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Pence Admin Reportedly Planning to Erase Non-Discrimination Protections for LGBTQ People

Pence Admin Reportedly Planning to Erase Non-Discrimination Protections for LGBTQ People

There are 1.4 million Americans who recognize themselves transgender, according to the Times.

A very narrow definition of sex as only male or female at birth, as Trump's administration reportedly wants, would roll back much of the transgender rights advances that took place while Barack Obama was President.

The Obama administration recognized transgender people under Education Department's Officer for Civil Rights director Catherine Lhamon, who rejects the proposal, which "quite simply negates the humanity of people", she told the Times.

Please support @TransEquality, which I sit on the board of, as they fight this latest affront to human rights.

The definition is integral to two proposed rules now under review at the White House: one from the Education Department deals with complaints of sex discrimination at schools and colleges receiving federal financial assistance; the other, from health and human services, deals with health programs and activities that receive federal funds or subsidies.

Sex would be defined by a person's birth certificate, with any disputes settled with DNA testing.

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Roger Severino, head of the Office of Civil Rights at HHS, said: "A federal court has blocked HHS's rule on gender identity and termination of pregnancy as contrary to law and infringing the rights of healthcare providers across the country".

Trump's Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to legally exterminate transgender people at a federal level, and define gender "as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth" according to a report in the NYT. That was one of the reasons for the move for a new, standard definition by HHS.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the draft health and human services proposal. The Department of Defense also announced earlier this year that it would ban most transgender people from serving in the military, except under exceptional circumstances.

Judge Reed O'Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, ruled in 2016 that "Congress did not understand "sex" to include "gender identity" when it passed the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

But in recent discussions with the administration, civil rights groups, including Lambda Legal, have pointed to other court cases.

"The federal courts have interpreted sex discrimination laws broadly for decades in order to ensure that all forms of sex-based discrimination are prohibited, including discrimination against transgender people", said NCLR's Shannon Minter. Under Trump, several agencies have withdrawn policies that recognise transgender identity in schools, prisons and homeless shelters, and there was even an attempt to withdraw questions about gender identity from the 2020 census.

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