The US government, under the watch of President Donald Trump, is reportedly attempting to legally erase the existence of transgender people.
A memo circulating in Washington says the administration is seeking to establish a legal definition of gender as unchangeable and limited solely to male or female, The New York Times reported.
The part of Title IX which bans discrimination on the basis of sex had come to encompass gender identity under Obama-era loosening of legal regulation of government programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services argues that there should be a definition of gender established across departments “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”
The definition the administration is seeking would state that gender is defined solely by one’s genitals at birth, and that any dispute over someone’s gender would require clarification through genetic testing.
The proposed legal change would essentially see trans people legally erased, and present significant challenges for children born with intersex characteristics who are sometimes forced or coerced to undergo surgery to erase intersex traits.
The memo, which has been circulating since last year, proposes that “sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.”
“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 head of the Office for Civil Rights at the department, Roger Severino, declined to answer detailed questions on the memo to the Times, who reported that Severino has previously written opinion pieces which rail against “radical gender ideology” – the kind of phrase used frequently in Australia by anti-trans activists.
These revelations have angered trans advocates in America, with the National Center for Transgender Equality stating that “The Trump administration has waged a nonstop onslaught against the rights of LGBTQ people since its Inauguration in January 2017.”
Trump tweeted during his campaign that he would support queer people as President, but the Human Rights Campaign’s legal director Sarah Warbelow said that “at every step where the administration has had the choice, they’ve opted to turn their back on transgender people.”
During his presidential campaign, Trump infamously tweeted, “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”
Trump last year began an attempt to ban trans people from serving in the US military, which legal advocates say could becoming cemented following the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.