October 24, 2018

Human rights are under renewed threat as the Trump-Pence administration considers instituting a narrow and binary definition of gender that discriminates against and attempts to erase transgender people, said the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC). The effort, led by the Department of Health and Human Services, would roll back civil rights and strip federal protections for transgender people under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program that receives federal funding.

“While governments around the world increasingly acknowledge and protect the self-identification of transgender individuals, the Trump-Pence administration seeks to exclude, erase, and discriminate,” said IWHC President Françoise Girard.

Over the last 15 years, countries such as Argentina, Canada, Denmark, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Uruguay, and others have passed legislation recognizing the right to self-identification for transgender people. Sweden has allowed individuals to change their legal gender identity since 1972.

The Trump-Pence administration’s posture is driven by ultra-conservative religious groups that would deny transgender people their human rights. “Trump’s regressive policies align the United States with these oppressive and discriminatory forces,” said Girard. “IWHC stands with the transgender community and joins in the fight against these efforts to deny people’s humanity and to implement categorizations based on hatred and discrimination.”

This attack is just the latest in a series that targets the transgender community. The administration has already rescinded Obama era guidelines that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms congruent with their gender identity, has attempted to ban transgender people from serving in the military, and has challenged civil rights protections in national health care legislation (the Affordable Care Act).

Contact: Liza Kane-Hartnett; (+1) 212-801-1260

Photo: Ted Eytan