WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Trump/Pence administration may be looking to legally define sex, based on the parts a person is born with. The ACLU of Indiana says that will make it easier for discrimination.
Katie Blair, director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the ACLU of Indiana, said the possible new policy looks to her like a Pence policy. She believes the vice president has taken some of his ideas from when he was governor of Indiana, and transplanted them in D.C.
“We’re seeing a lot of the same kinds of hateful, discriminatory bills and practices come through in the executive branch, like we saw in Indiana, when Pence was governor,” said Blair.
She said the ACLU got wind of the idea through a leaked memo published by the New York Times, which quoted the document as saying the definition would be “a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth”. Blair said that would open the door to discrimination because it would be part of the country’s civil rights law.
“This is happening because they are trying to do it through the Dept. of Health and Human Services to roll back protections under Title VII and IX,” she said. “The courts have increasingly used the definition of sex to provide protections for LGBTQ people and this would narrow that.”
She said the implications would be that a person could not be defined by how they identify, but only by their genitalia, which would be a change from Obama-era policies.
“It’s going to erase the existence of protections for transgender people. That’s one of the most vulnerable populations that are often targeted by discriminatory practices and legislation.”
She said the ACLU is prepared to fight the policy in court, if it does happen.
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