It seems the Trump Administration is not content with attempting to remove trans servicemembers from our military. In their newest attack, leaked internal memos discovered by The New York Times this Sunday describe a strategy to define “gender” as man and woman by birth sex. Federally, this memo doesn’t appear to be anything new. The memo has many conflicting details and does not specify any clear plan of action. HHS does not own Title IX – the Dept of Education does and HHS does not have direct power in the rule-making or defining of gender under Title IX. What is clear by this memo is the intent of the admission to regulate transgender people out of existence.
Even if HHS and the Department of Education enacts these rules there are federal protections in law and through previous executive orders that help protect transgender people. There is an Executive Order protecting Trans Federal Workers and Contractors that Department of Labor enforces and the EEOC recognizes trans rights on basis of sex. The Violence Against Women Act and The Hate Crime Statistics Act both provide trans folks protections on the basis of gender. In addition, we acknowledge several nationwide vigilant watchdogs: Human Rights Campaign, NCTE, and Lambda Legal to name a few, that are more than ready to take on this new attack.
Locally, the state, county, and city all have protections for transgender citizens built-in to our laws and various departments that receives federal funding. To Gender Justice League, this is not unexpected. We’re always working on fighting new attacks from this administration. It is important to always remain vigilant. The NY times article reminding us of this memo is a reminder to remain vigilant. The best ways to help right now: vote, communicate with your elected leaders, and don’t forget to contribute to trans-lead organizations like Gender Justice League on a monthly, recurring basis.