Oct 21, 2018

Trump administration may eradicate transgender recognition

Photo: Cory Clark/NurPhoto via Getty Images

"The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law," the N.Y. Times' Erica Green, Katie Benner and Robert Pear report.

What's happening: "[T]he Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance."

  • "The department argued in [a] memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined 'on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.'"
  • From the memo: "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."
  • Why it matters: "The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves ... as a gender other than the one they were born into."

Be smart: The move would most directly impact discrimination cases in terms of education, but would likely have a much wider effect on the civil rights and public acceptance of transgender people. 

  • Opponents of transgender rights would likely use a redefined Title IX definition as an impetus to roll back all manner of civil rights. 
  • The Times' unusually striking headline recognizes the broad impact this could have: "Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 1,216,422 — Total deaths: 65,711 — Total recoveries: 252,478Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 312,245 — Total deaths: 8,503 — Total recoveries: 15,021Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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