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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, June 13, 2024

State activists fear transgender erasure amid Trump proposal to redefine gender

State transgender rights advocates expressed alarm after a report Sunday revealed the Trump administration is considering narrowing the definition of gender as both exclusively biological and unchangeable.

Activists are concerned that the move comes as part of an effort to erase recognition and protection of transgender and non-binary individuals and roll back their existing protections under law.

"Two years ago on election night, I feared the change in our country's administration would challenge the progress so many people fought for," Milwaukee Pride President Wes Shaver said. "After the latest memo from our president, we have no choice but to amplify the message that we will not accept anything less than equal treatment, respect and rights for all transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming human beings."

The Obama administration set a relatively lenient precedent, leaving identification mostly open to individuals when interacting with federal agencies.

Concerns arose when the New York Times reported on a memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which requested a definition of gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”

The agency sought a definition that declared gender as either male or female, based on the genitals an individual is born with and is legally unchangeable throughout a person’s life.

Civil rights watchdogs feared the move could erode protections of transgender rights under Title IX, the federal statute that bans gender discrimination in educational settings, by erasing their legal existence.

"This marginalization and bullying has to stop,” Shaver said. “Self-destructing our nation with hate and prejudice must come to an end. It's uncivilized. It's un-American." 

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