It seems that the words Trump and controversy are permanent bedfellows. Virtually nothing that the United States president does is not met with some level of controversy. In fact, it seems to simply be the level of controversy that each move will cause that is in question, not if there will or won’t be controversy.
In yet another earth shattering move, drawing crowds of angry protestors into the streets, a new bill was announced for consideration. The bill would require that all United States citizens be identified only by the gender of their birth, with no recognition of any kind given to transgender alterations made after. This would impact all identification of each individual, and become permanent under the Trump administration. Hence, all gender would hence be known not as a choice, but as a biological condition.
Naturally, the LGBT community was enraged, and quickly took to the streets in protest. But just what does the new bill propose, and what are implications should it be passed into official law?
The Obama Administration
Under the liberal Obama administration, laws based around gender were relaxed in a big way. Essentially, federal laws and programs were drastically changed, specifically in education and health care, in order to allow for gender to be recognised more as a choice, as opposed to a permanent condition assigned at birth. The LGBT community rejoiced having finally achieved what had been fought for over decades.
But the impact of these law changes was not smooth or easy. Massive conflict arose over the definition of bathrooms, single sex residential dormitories and single-sex programs in education facilities. The resulting chaos was widespread, and not fully addressed prior to the law changes being made. This left some government facilities scratching their head as to the correct and fair way to proceed, without causing confusion for all parties involved.
Establishing A Legal Definition
The Department of Health and Human Services released a memo to the New York Times. In the memo, the Department details that it is looking to establish legal definitions of gender, specifically under Title IX. This is the right that bans gender discrimination. The Department further details that key government agencies require a uniform and explicit definition of what gender is in order to function without disruptive confusion.
The bill proposes that gender should be grounded in science, be objective and administrable, with any disputes being settled via genetic testing. More specifically, gender would be applied based entirely on birth genitalia, without room for choice beyond this definition. According to the bill, this is the most fair, rational approach to the situation.
Privately, it seems that the Department of Health has argued that the Obama administration failed to provide needed clarity on sweeping changes of the established law.
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The Issue Won’t Be Erased
In response to the proposed rolling back of changes made during the Obama administration, the LGBT community have been vocal in their outrage. Sarah Warbelow, director of the human rights campaign, declared that transgender people are afraid, witnessing what they see as the administration turning their back on 1.4 million United States transgender citizens.
The transgender community quickly took to social media posting images of themselves with the hashtag #WontBeErased. It seems that just when the LGBT community felt as if major progress had been made, that it is all under threat of being undone in swift fashion.
Numerous celebrities have likewise hit social media, declaring their disdain for the proposed bill, and the Trump administration alike.
A Proposed Bill
It should be kept in mind that the new bill is only proposed at this point, and would have to go a long way before being passed into official law. Given the protest it faces, the chances are it will not be passed hastily, or forced on citizens, lest massive protests and revolt be faced. Very simply put; the more opposition an administration faces, the far less likely they are to push for law changes that are likely to result. A democratic government is, after all, supposed to act on the majority will of the people.