Report Says Trump Administration Will Possibly Redefine Gender to Exclude Transgender Individuals

The Trump administration, in a move that would substantially decrease transgender rights, might narrow the definition of gender. According to a new report from The New York Times, the Department of Health and Human Services is contemplating defining gender on a biological base determined by the genitals a person has at birth. 

The New York Times obtained a draft memo from the Department of Health and Human Services, and it aimed to include a legal definition of sex to Title IX, which is a federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs that receive federal funding. In the department’s memo, they argued that government agencies’ needed to uniformly define a person’s sex “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” 

It basically means that, under the department's definition of gender, sex would be unchangeable, determined at birth, and limited to male or female. 

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the memo said, according to The New York Times. “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.” 

The narrow definitions would roll back on essential protections for those who identify as transgender, especially in schools where locker rooms and bathrooms leaves them often the most vulnerable. As the New York Times points out, the administration also stands to “eradicate federal recognition” of an already marginalized population. About 1.4 million people identify as transgender in the U.S., according to the Times. 

The Trump administration has previously tried to stop transgender protections laws put in place during the Obama-Era. Back in May, the Justice Department rolled back on an Obama-Era rule that protected transgender inmates. Under Trump, the Bureau of Prisons policy now bases housing and bathroom assignments on biological sex.