The Trump administration has rolled back protections for the transgender community. This erases federal recognition for Americans who identify as a gender different than the one they were born with based on Title VII. This title prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, and national origin.
“More than 50 US companies said Thursday in a letter posted online that they oppose ‘any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations,’” stated a CNN article.
The Title VII memo calls on the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor to adopt a unified interpretation of the meaning of the word sex to mean the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued. The suggestion also ignores what scholars have been saying since the mid-20th century: sex and gender are two different ways of thinking about the human body.
Sex is the biological assignment. It’s the question we ask ourselves when a baby is born: is it a boy or girl? Gender refers to the standards we develop and assign to masculine or feminine. Separating sex and gender can be confusing because they often go together.
However, under Title VII, the prohibition on sex discrimination does not explicitly extend to discrimination against gender identity. It is unclear how the Department of Justice will proceed with future hearings based on this memorandum.
Many are unhappy with Title VII, which rolls back on an Obama-era memorandum that includes gender-identity discrimination.
“The people who are fighting against this rollback are not wrong. They are fighting for something that is their basic rights are being an American citizen,” stated Senior Musa Chaudry.
The removal of protections for transgender people contradicts the platform Trump ran on in 2016 when he stated on the Today Show that people should be able to use whichever bathroom they want. Trump has since changed his tune, formally ordering a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military back in August of 2017.
“I do not condone of Trump’s view on transgender people and their effects on the public population,” said Senior Syed Anwery.
Among the people publicly opposing Trump’s decision, Caitlyn Jenner opened up about her opinions by writing in the Washington post. She also renounced her endorsement and support for president Trump in the Washington Post.
“My hope in him — in them — was misplaced, and I cannot support anyone who is working against our community,” wrote Jenner.
James Van Kuilenburg was draped in a transgender pride flag when he was escorted out of the event.