Over the last decade, the Left has selectively attempted to redefine gender into something confusing, convoluted and difficult to understand. They say you can decide to be a sex after you are born, regardless of what sexual organs you happen to be born with.
Should transgender people be defined as a minority group because of their differences, and thus, granted special civil rights to protect them?
Or, is simply failing to fall into socially-defined gender roles just a characteristic – a personality trait that perhaps makes people unique, yet doesn’t qualify them for specialized rights and protections under the law?
The truth is that there’s no fast and easy answer to this question. Opinions vary widely on both the left and the right. What many can agree on is the fact that the Obama administration played too fast and loose with changes, bringing too many new things into effect without any real research or grounding in science.
Now, the Trump administration appears to be planning a giant step in the other direction, veering away from pro-transgender rights to restrict the definition of sex to biological fact only. If it succeeds, the move will immediately roll back recognition and protections for transgender Americans under federal law.
• The Department of Health and Human Services appears to be spearheading the change, which would alter the Obama-era Title IX regulation that prevents discrimination against transgender students in government-funded school settings. If passed, it would drill down through subjective opinion to make the definition of sex biological and determined by genitalia at birth.
• Title IX is the same regulation that caused arguments and debate all across the nation about transgender bathroom rights. Right-leaning Christians were especially upset, as were many parents who felt that the change may put their children at risk as men could now essentially claim to be female and gain access to female-only spaces.
• If approved, the HHS’s changes would redefine gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” Essentially, if you are born with male genitalia, you are male. If you are born with female genitalia, you are female.
• The HHS’s released memo, reportedly reviewed by the New York Time, outlines the new potential changes. It highlights just how different the approach is to the Obama administration’s approach. “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” it reads. “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.”
• If approved, the re-defined regulation would effectively and immediately roll back protections for transgender people at every level, including both public schools, homeless shelters, healthcare centers, prisons and most government-funded institutions where gender would be an influence in provided services.
• One of the main arguments against protections for transgender Americans is the fact that so few Americans identify as transgender. This is reflected in the statistics; if the new HHS regulation passes, it will impact just 1.4 million citizens – or about 0.43 percent of the population.
• Because the definition of gender would apply only to genitalia at birth, it would impact both pre-surgery and post-surgery transgender people. It would also require that anyone who has an ambiguous presentation be genetically tested before accessing gender-specific services from the government.
• The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, however, disagrees with the change and intends to lobby against it. Spokeswoman Catherine E. Lhamon explained their stance to the press recently, highlighting what she feels are the risks. “This takes a position that what the medical community understands about their patients — what people understand about themselves — is irrelevant because the government disagrees.”
• But what Lhamon fails to mention is that she was intimately involved with creating the protections in the first place. Of course she’ll defend them; if they’re rolled back, it makes her original involvement questionable at best.
• This isn’t the first move the Trump administration has made to roll back questionable Obama-era civil rights changes. Trump has also lobbied to bar transgender Americans from serving in the military or receiving special health benefits from national health care plans like Medicaid.