The government of US President Donald Trump is attempting to strip transgender people of official recognition by creating a definition of gender as being only male or female, and unchangeable once it is determined at birth, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has undertaken an effort across several departments, including Education, Justice and Labor, to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex, the Times said, citing a government memo it obtained.
That definition would be as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals a person is born with, the Times reported.
A draft of the memo, which has been circulating since the spring, says gender should be determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,” the Times reported.
“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,” the memo says.
Such an interpretation would reverse the expansion of transgender rights that took place under the administration of then-US president Barack Obama.
Officials at the department have argued that “sex” was never meant to include gender identity, so the Obama administration’s moves to allow individuals to define themselves as anything other than their birth gender was illegitimate, the Timessaid
The newspaper said that psychiatrists no longer consider being transgender a disorder and courts have found the Obama interpretation of protecting transgender people against discrimination to be sound, but the Trump administration has chosen to abide by a 2016 ruling by US District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas.
A HHS spokeswoman declined to comment on “allegedly leaked documents,” but cited a ruling by a US district judge as a guide to transgender policy.
The Obama administration enacted regulations and followed court rulings that protected transgender people.
The Trump administration has sought to ban transgender people from military service and rescinded guidance to public schools recommending that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.
The US Department of State under Trump has not filled a position created by former secretary of state John Kerry of a special envoy advocating LGBTQ rights around the world.
Meanwhile, a leading transgender advocate called the government’s reported action a “super aggressive, dismissive, dangerous move.”
“They are saying we don’t exist,” National Center for Transgender Rights (NCTE) director Mara Keisling said.
NTCE called for a protest march down Pennsylvania Ave in Washington to the White House to being about noon yesterday.
Additional reporting by AFP and the Guardian
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient
A Taiwanese bird protection group yesterday said that it has been kicked out of BirdLife International — a global conservation partnership — after it refused to sign a statement saying it would never advocate independence. The Taipei-based Chinese Wild Bird Federation said that BirdLife International last week voted to remove it, ending a partnership that had been in place since 1996. Over the past 20 years, the federation has changed its English name three times to satisfy BirdLife International, and recently the international group demanded that it change its Chinese name and sign a statement that it is “formally committing to not