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Quigley Condemns Report of Trump Administration’s Despicable, Discriminatory Transgender Erasure Proposal

Oct 23, 2018
Press Release

Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, joined fellow Members of the Transgender Equality Task Force in issuing the following statements in response to reports of the Trump Administration plans to re-define gender specifically to exclude transgender identity.

“Transgender Americans are exactly that: Americans. They are our friends, family, coworkers, and invaluable members of our communities that help make our nation as a whole a better place to live,” said Rep. Mike Quigley. “To try and deny them their right to equal access to health care, housing, education, and fair treatment under the law is nothing more than an archaic, un-American political attack that seeks to discriminate against a population that can ill afford institutionalized bigotry and condemnation. As Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and a founding Member of the Transgender Equality Task Force, I am proud to stand in solidarity with my Democratic colleagues and concerned citizens everywhere to say transgender Americans will never be erased. We will continue to uplift their dignity, promote equal rights for all, and fight tooth and nail to stop this despicable proposal from ever taking effect.”

The Trump Administration’s proposal, according to reports by the New York Times, would move to define gender as strictly biological, denying the very basis of transgender identity and eliminating federal recognition of the approximately two million individuals who identify as transgender. This would impact not only Title IX’s education protections, but Title VII’s employment protections, the health care protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, and every single law that protects against discrimination on the basis of sex.

“This nation's darkest days have always come when our government deemed civil rights conditional,” said Transgender Equality Task Force Chair Rep. Joe Kennedy (MA-04).  “The Trump Administration’s ongoing assault on transgender Americans betrays not just that history and not just the progress for which millions have bravely sacrificed, but our most fundamental responsibility to treat and see each other as human.  Today we raise our voices against an Administration that continues to cower to the forces of hatred and bigotry, and we tell every single transgender American that the rest of this country stands by their side.”

“The Trump administration’s cruel attempt to erase transgender Americans from federal equal protection laws is an attack on the dignity and even the existence of the trans community,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC). “We will not allow the progress we have achieved for trans equality to be rolled back. Even before pushing this regulation, the administration already indicated its anti-human rights intentions, making clear we must continue our fight to ensure respect and equal rights under the law for transgender Americans.”

“Plain and simple, the Trump administration is attempting to erase transgender individuals from American life,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03). “From the classroom, to the doctor’s office, and to the military; the Trump administration has relentlessly attacked the rights of transgender individuals to live their lives with dignity, respect, and protections from dangerous discrimination. Instead of leaving transgender rights at the whim of right-wing extremists in the White House, it’s time for Congress to permanently enshrine them into law by passing the Equality Act.”

“By conflating sex and gender, the Trump Administration isn’t simply demonstrating an astonishing ignorance of science and humanity, it’s violating the civil rights of 1.4 million transgender Americans,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14). “No act undertaken by this or any President can erase our transgender friends, family, and colleagues. But if left unchecked, President Trump’s attempt at imbuing our nation’s laws with unapologetic bigotry will embolden those already seeking to deny the trans community equal protection at work, in school, at the doctor, and in the housing market. We will not allow this attack on transgender people’s most basic human right – that of recognition – to slip quietly into the night, nor will we allow the President or his Administration to force transgender Americans into the shadows.”

“This proposal is a targeted attack on the lives of 2 million people, effectively abandoning transgender people’s right to equal access to health care, to housing, to education, and to just treatment under the law,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17). “Together we will reject this hateful and discriminatory agenda from the Trump administration.”

“LGBTQ Americans deserve the same rights, justice, fairness and opportunity, period,” said Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04). “I have fought against every attempt this administration has made to roll back progress for the LGBT community and to legitimize discrimination. The latest threat to redefine ‘sex’ is appalling and outrageous. The Trump Administration must reconsider this attack which can only be seen as an act of bigotry. If not, we will employ every tool we have to protect this vulnerable community and restore the justice they deserve.” 

The mission of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The bi-partisan, 122-member Caucus is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world. The Caucus is led by the six openly LGBT members of Congress who serve as Co-Chairs and who, by 2/3 vote, authorize the release of statements and Caucus positions.