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NY Times: Govt memo details effort to establish binary gender definition

In this July 26, 2017 file photo, people with the Human Rights Campaign hold up “equality flags” during an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, in support of transgender members of the military. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)
In this July 26, 2017 file photo, people with the Human Rights Campaign hold up “equality flags” during an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, in support of transgender members of the military. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

The Department of Health and Human Services is discussing using Title IX – the federal law that bans gender discrimination in government-assisted educational services – for the establishment of a legal definition of gender, according to a memo obtained by the New York Times.

The memo argues that agencies need a firm definition of gender based upon “a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”

The definition would call for a binary male or female assignment that would be unchangeable and determined by sex at birth, according to the material reviewed by the New York Times. Disputes with regard to gender would be decided through genetic testing.

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the memo stated.

“Setting a destructive precedent, the Trump-Pence administration intends to erase LGBTQ people from federal civil rights protections and eviscerate enforcement of non-discrimination laws,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a press release.

Griffin also called on Congress to move forward with the Equality Act “to ensure that LGBTQ people are explicitly protected by our nation’s civil rights laws.”


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