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Connecticut News

Redefining Gender Will Undermine Civil Rights, Says ACLU Of Connecticut

Carolyn Kaster
The National Center for Transgender Equality, NCTE, and the Human Rights Campaign gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington on Monday for a #WontBeErased rally.

The ACLU in Connecticut is reacting to the New York Times report that the Trump administration wants to narrow the federal definition of gender. The new definition could eradicate federal civil rights protections for an estimated 1.4 million transgender Americans. 

David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut, says the Trump administration continues to reverse national progress that has been made to recognize transgender people.

“If they change this interpretation, you know they’ll essentially undermine federal recognition of gender identity for millions of people.”

Connecticut and New York have laws protecting transgender people from discrimination, but most states do not.

“The state law here from 2011 will continue to protect people regardless of what Donald Trump does, and if they do go forward, there’s going to be the very strong likelihood of a legal challenge.”

A memo obtained by the Times says the Department of Health and Human Services “would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with.”

Critics say if federal agencies narrow the definition that went into effect under the Obama administration, it puts the transgender community at risk of being discriminated against in schools, in the workplace and while applying for medical health coverage.