Trump administration mulls rollback of Obama-era transgender protections, report says

A gender-neutral bathroom seen at the University of California  Irvine in 2014.   Reuters

A gender-neutral bathroom seen at the University of California Irvine in 2014. Reuters

The definition is integral to two proposed rules now under review at the White House: one from the Education Department deals with complaints of sex discrimination at schools and colleges receiving federal financial assistance; the other, from health and human services, deals with health programs and activities that receive federal funds or subsidies.

"Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth", the memo reportedly stated.

The effort is being led by Roger Severino, who has taken the anti-LGBT agenda of his former employer, the Heritage Foundation, into the Trump administration as director of the civil rights division at HHS.

LGBTQ advocacy groups, including the Transgender Law Center, also blasted the idea.

The piece goes on to point out that "the new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves - surgically or otherwise - as a gender other than the one they were born into". "The court order remains in full force and effect today and HHS is abiding by it as we continue to review the issue".

An estimated 0.7% of the population identifies as transgender.   Mark Makela  Getty Images
An estimated 0.7% of the population identifies as transgender. Mark Makela Getty Images

The Trump administration is considering a new proposal to narrowly define "sex", a shift that could upend the rules and programs for transgender people in America. When he was named to that position, a dozen USA senators objected, citing Severino's "long history of making bigoted statements toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and attacking women's access to health care services and reproductive rights". Under the reported proposal, the federal government would rely on the sex listed on a person's birth certificate as originally issued, regardless of whether the person has undergone gender reassignment surgery or had their birth certificate amended.

It said additionally that HHS officials were looking to a 2016 federal court ruling on a provision of Obamacare, where Judge Reed O'Connor said, "Congress did not understand "sex" to include 'gender identity'".

In Chicago, Reyna Ortiz said being transgender for 25 years has prepared her for setbacks such as the Trump administration proposal. If enacted, it also would do away with a series of moves by the Obama administration to recognize a person's gender as an individual's choice and not determined by their sex assigned at birth. If the Justice Department decides that the change is legal, the new definition can be approved and enforced in Title IX statutes, and across government agencies.

A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. estimated that almost 4,000 transgender troops were on active duty and in the reserves, Politico reported.

The Trump administration has previously tried to roll back transgender recognition in areas such as the military and in schools - but it has not commented on the latest report.

Former NFL star released from jail after 18 years
In recent interviews, Carruth has been attempting to make amends and says he wants to build a connection with Chancellor. Adams, 24, was following Carruth in a separate vehicle after a movie when Watkins and Kennedy pulled up beside her.

Trump declares national emergency over US-bound migrant caravan
Later in the day, authorities in Guatemala said another group of about 1,000 migrants had entered that country from Honduras. Passing freight trucks were quickly boarded by dozens of migrants, and groaning tuk-tuks carried as many as a half-dozen.

Trump accuses Saudi Arabia of lying on Khashoggis death
In an interview with the Washington Post , Trump said that "obviously there's been deception, and there's been lies". The crown prince has "now crossed a line and there has to be a punishment and a price paid for that", Corker said.

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