Title IX Sex Definition Controversy
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Title IX Sex Definition Controversy refers to the proposed re-definition of gender by the Trump administration, which would roll back federal civil rights protections for transgender people. Many responded negatively to reports of the change, stating that Trump administration would be misusing medical and scientific findings and would create dangerous and discriminatory situations for transgender people.
On April 29th, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights issued guidelines that would protect transgender people from sex discrimination in schools under Title IX. Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement:
"Our federal civil rights laws demand that all students -- women and men; gay and straight; transgender or not; citizens and foreign students -- be allowed to learn and participate in all parts of college life without sexual assault and harassment limiting their opportunities. The Office for Civil Rights stands ready to enforce this core principle to ensure all students' safety in schools."
Four years later, on October 21st, 2018, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration was considering rolling back such protections in a memo that would define gender as "based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth." The report states:
"The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law."
"The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves -- surgically or otherwise -- as a gender other than the one they were born into."
"Several agencies have withdrawn Obama-era policies that recognized gender identity in schools, prisons and homeless shelters. The administration even tried to remove questions about gender identity from a 2020 census survey and a national survey of elderly citizens."
A draft of the proposed memo states, "Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before 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."
Those who identify as transgender and as well as supporters of protections for transgendered people responded negatively to the news. Cathrine E Lhamon, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights in the Obama administration, rebuked the said, "This takes a position that what the medical community understands about their patients -- what people understand about themselves -- is irrelevant because the government disagrees."
Author and reporter Meredith Talusan tweeted, "This headline is inaccurate; the Trump administration is trying to create the illusion that trans people don't exist. Transgender people have always and will continue to exist as long as people exist." The tweet received more than 2,000 retweets and 4,400 likes in 24 hours (shown below, left).
Laverne Cox, star of Orange Is The New Black":/memes/subcultures/orange-is-the-new-black/, tweeted, "In indigenous cultures all over the world gender existed beyond the binary and folks who we would call trans today held sacred places in those cultures. Western colonialism drove those trans folks to the margins but we have always been here. Marginalizing trans folks is another." The tweet received more than 1,100 retweets and 3,600 likes in 24 hours (shown below, center).
Supporters of transgender people tweeted using the hashtag "#WontBeErased." The Twitter account for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) tweeted, "Trans people #WontBeErased." Thw tweet received more than 14,000 retweets and 32,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).
On October 21st, Redditor  just__Steve posted about the report in the /r/politics subreddit. The post received more than 8,600 points (92% upvoted) and 1,500 comments in 24 hours.
Twitter published several moments pages about the reaction.
Virtually all major media outlets covered the controversy, including The Washington Post, TIME, The New Yorker, Vox, BBC and more.
 BuzzFeed – Education Department: Federal Law Protects Transgender Students From Discrimination
 New York Times – ‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration
 Twitter – @1demerith's Tweet
 Twitter – @Lavernecox's Tweet
 Twitter – @glaad's Tweet
 Reddit – The Trump administration reportedly wants the government to revoke civil rights protections from transgender people
 Twitter – Trump administration's bid to redefine trans people sparks backlash
 Twitter – Trump administration seeking to establish a legal definition of sex, NYT reports
 Washington Post – As Trump administration eyes writing transgender people ‘out of existence,’ a reckoning for a transgender Republican
 Time – Government Plans to Erase Transgender Definition Spark Alarm
 The New Yorker – The Trauma of the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Transgender People
 Vox – The Trump administration’s latest anti-transgender action, explained – Vox
 BBC News – #WeWontBeErased: Outcry over memo proposing US transgender change
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