US mulls revoking recognition of transgender people
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US mulls revoking recognition of transgender people

In latest move targeting LGBT community, Trump administration considering proposal to define gender as biological and unchangeable

Counter protesters stand outside the Mobile Public Library to support the Drag Queen Story Hour in Mobile, Alabama, on September 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Dan Anderson)
Counter protesters stand outside the Mobile Public Library to support the Drag Queen Story Hour in Mobile, Alabama, on September 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Dan Anderson)

WASHINGTON, DC — The administration of US President Donald Trump is considering a proposal to narrowly define gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by birth genitalia, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

According to a memo obtained by The Times, the US Department of Health and Human Services is leading the effort to establish a legal definition of sex under federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in government-funded education programs.

It is the latest effort by US President Donald Trump’s administration to chip away at protections for the LGBT community.

The department’s proposed definition of gender would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times.

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring, The Times said.

“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.”

Health and Human Services has called on its own department, as well as Education, Justice and Labor, to adopt its definition in regulations that will establish uniformity in the government and increase the chance that courts will accept it, The Times said.

The Anti-Defamation League immediately came out against the move, writing on Twitter that such a decision would be “heartless and destructive.”

“Transgender people can’t be defined out of existence. We’ll work with our allies to fight this bigotry,” the Jewish group said.

Trump has called for the ejection of transgender people from the military, backed away from anti-discrimination laws that protect gay workers and supported the right of businesses to cite religious principles in not serving gay couples.

The US State Department under Trump has not filled a position created by former secretary of state John Kerry of a special envoy advocating LGBT rights around the world.

Official moves away from LGBT protection come as transgender people take on a higher national prominence.

Last year, a transgender Democratic Party member was lauded as a pioneer when she won a seat in the Virginia state legislature. In next month’s midterm elections, Christine Hallquist hopes to become America’s first transgender governor, in Vermont.

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