In its ongoing battle against the policies set forth by President Barack Obama's administration and the LGBTQ community writ large, the Trump administration is seeking to narrowly define gender in the United States, "on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable," reports the New York Times.
In a Health and Human Services memo the Times obtained from last spring, the administration outlines using Title IX—under the 1972 Education Amendments Act that prevents discrimination on the basis of sex—to squash the personhood of the reported 1.4 million Americans who have undergone sexual reassignment surgery or simply identify as a gender other than the one noted on their birth certificate.
"Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth," the memo reads. "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."
Under the Obama administration, a person's gender wasn't set in stone, but a fluid designation set by that person. The newest report from the Times continues the current administration's trend of reversing the small gains the community had experienced under Obama.
Previously, the Trump administration has sought to ban transgender people from serving in the military, withdraw transgender protections for prisoners and the Department of Justice has reversed the policy protecting transgender people from workplace discrimination. The word "transgender" is also one of the seven the Trump administration has banned the Centers for Disease Control from using in official documents. While some states have stepped up to prevent all the rollbacks on transgender rights, there have already been dire consequences for the community as the public falls in line behind the federal government.
The memo obtained parallels the battle within the Health and Human Services over the ambiguity the Obama administration assigned "sex." This latest reported maneuver would be the most significant setback for the trans community to date, as it would eliminate the identity of transgender Americans, further eroding the rights they deserve as Americans.
If you're looking for a historical precedent for this type of move by a nation's government, here's a good place to start: