Transgender people: Losing federal protection
The Trump administration is proposing to legally “erase” transgendered Americans from the protections of federal law, said Eric Levenson in CNN.com. Under a newly proposed definition of gender, one’s “sex” would be narrowly understood as an “immutable biological trait” determined by genes and genitalia at birth. The proposal is contained in a leaked Department of Health and Human Services memo the Justice Department will review by year’s end. If deemed legal, the rule could then be enforced across all government agencies and under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act—a law banning discrimination in schools, colleges, and health programs receiving federal tax dollars “on the basis of sex.” The change could have major ramifications for America’s 1.4 million trans citizens. Under this proposal, “we can be evicted for being trans,” said transgender athlete Rachel V. McKinnon in WashingtonPost.com. “We can be fired for being trans.” Why this cruel attack on “human decency”?
Progressives may be outraged, said David Marcus in TheFederalist.com, but this common-sense proposal is “a long time coming.” People with “the most radical views” about gender have been imposing them on our society and our laws, weakening discrimination protections put in place for women. In passing Title IX, said Ben Shapiro in NationalReview.com, Congress never intended the word “sex” to encompass anything more than one’s “biological sex.” It didn’t intend to force women’s colleges to accept men who feel that they are women because they suffer from “gender identity disorder.” To define a person’s gender based on subjective feelings, rather than biological and genetic facts, is “anti-scientific trash.”
You’re mistaken, said Brian Resnick in Vox.com. Conservatives like to think that people come in just two distinct sexes, but a significant number of babies are born “intersex,” with genitalia that are clearly neither male nor female. Others people have male XY chromosomes, but their bodies don’t respond to testosterone and don’t develop into that of a typical male. Almost 2 percent of the world’s population would not fit into rigid classifications of male and female. Indeed, Mother Nature’s work is rarely black and white, said transgender activist Jennifer Finney Boylan in The New York Times. “The actual world contains all sorts of wonderful variations,” and if there is room enough for blue lobsters, “there should be room in this world for me.”