Published: Tue, October 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

LGBTQ Rights Activist Jazz Jennings Hits Back At Trump Anti-Transgender Memo

LGBTQ Rights Activist Jazz Jennings Hits Back At Trump Anti-Transgender Memo

"Setting a destructive precedent, the Trump-Pence administration intends to erase LGBTQ people from federal civil rights protections and eviscerate enforcement of non-discrimination laws", said HRC President Chad Griffin.

A leading transgender advocate called the government's reported action a "super aggressive, dismissive, risky move".

The effects of such a policy would be devastating to over 1 million Americans - access to health care, housing, and other public services would be limited or withheld completely. Under a proposal in the works by the Department of Health and Human Services, a person's gender would be legally defined according to the genitals they had at birth.

DHS has been arguing that "sex" doesn't include gender identity over the a year ago, and has, according to the Times, felt that the "lack of clarity" caused by inclusive Obama-era rules "wrongfully extend civil rights protections to people who should not have them".

Houlberg said Howard Brown is committed to meeting patients' needs, regardless of what happens, and there's still time for stakeholders to voice their opposition to the Trump administration plan.

Transgender actress and activist Laverne Cox shared the Times story on Twitter, rebutting what she described as the "affront on my existence" insisting "we exist and always have".

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Chief clinical officer Dr. Magda Houlberg said the proposed changes could be catastrophic: "This would be a huge step back for trans and gender-nonconforming rights". The provision prohibits discrimination based on race, colour, national origin, sex, age or disability in "any health program or activity" that receives federal financial assistance. It would need to be signed off by the departments of Justice, Labor and Education, which are also involved with civil rights enforcement.

This is the boldest move yet from the administration since their attempts to bar transgender people from the military.

He continued: "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".

"Courts and the previous administration took advantage of this circumstance to include gender identity and sexual orientation in a multitude of agencies, and under a multitude of laws", the memo states.

"For years, courts across the country have recognized that discriminating against someone because they are transgender is a form of sex discrimination, full stop", said Diana Flynn, Lambda Legal's litigation director.

Instead, it would define gender exclusively on the genitalia people are born with.

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