White House pushes for biological definition of ‘sex’
A New York Times report Sunday cited a memo from the Trump administration that attempts to establish a legal definition of “sex” based on biology, not gender identity, under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. The Times article warned that the move by the Department of Health and Human Services would define transgender people “out of existence,” which sparked a firestorm of angry responses from LGBT activists.
The Obama administration directed federal agencies to interpret “sex” to include a person’s preferred gender identity, forcing public schools and other federally funded institutions to allow people to choose which same-sex restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities they wanted to use. The Trump administration’s memo argues key government agencies need a uniform definition “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,” the Times reported. The departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Labor all enforce some part of Title IX. The memo said the proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined at a person’s 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.”
Some groups of students and parents say the Obama administration’s guidance on Title IX put children’s safety and privacy at risk. Families in Palatine, Ill., sued the Department of Education in 2016, saying that defining “sex” as gender identity had the effect of “continuing to trample students’ privacy and other constitutional and statutory rights.”
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