Trump War Against Trans Americans Continues as CDC Replaces LGBTQ References with LGB
In the ongoing war on transgender and non-binary Americans, the Trump administration has scrubbed the official website of the Center for Disease Control of all references to transgender and non-binary identities on specific pages related to queer youth, while also deleting transgender statistics from the 2015 and 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys.
This comes on the one year anniversary of the United States Health Department and the Office of Civil Rights removing all language applying to Transgender identities which led the Trump administration to inevitably challenge the inclusion of all LGBT people within the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That case is currently being deliberated in the US Supreme Court and a decision is expected in June. It would mark the first time in modern history that the legal system has been weaponized to further disenfranchise a minority and make them vulnerable to discrimination with no recourse.
The fast and furious act of legislating transgender people out of existence has been ongoing since the first days of Donald Trump’s 2016 election. So far, transgender people have been banned from serving in the military, access to healthcare for members of the LGBT community has been compromised by the newly formed Division of Religious Freedom and Moral Conscience which allows medical caregivers to legally refuse treatment to LGBT individuals if they are suspected of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Just yesterday, the Trump administration stripped all policies for transgender prison inmates that protected them from rape and abuse.
LGBT people will also not be counted in the 2020 United States census.
The prevention of trans and non-binary folks from being recognized by government agencies leaves us in immediate and long term danger. These decisions by the Trump administration effectively block the availability of research material, statistic information and healthcare resources intended to assist and identify the most significant needs of our community. According to Fast Company: The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity removed a number of explanations and resources about discrimination against LGBT people and HIV-positive people, meaning that people facing housing discrimination cannot access information about their rights and current laws on those pages.
So far, The Department of Education has rolled back protection for trans student which protected them in schools and on campus.
The Department of Health and Human Services, beyond implementing the new division of Religious Freedom and Moral Conscience, also has largely abandoned identity language, with a 40% dip in use of the term “transgender” and a 25% dip in “gender,” in favor of religious-freedom terminology.
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is actively seeking to remove protections for trans people which once prevented them from being evicted on the basis of their gender identity. They have already exchanged the word “Gender” with “Sex” in their policies.
The Center for Disease Control which is the department responsible for gathering and compiling statistical data such as violence against transgender people, the rate of suicide directly affecting this community and the disproportionate number of homicides impacting mostly black trans women, are no longer addressing these issues and have removed historical data referencing them.
The Office of Personnel Management which oversees all federal employees, removed its “Gender Identity Guidance” page, and replaced it with language that eliminates the references to trans and non-binary identities. The US Supreme Court upheld a decision for the state of Texas to refuse benefits to spouses of LGBT Federal employees.
The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has promised to destroy the Equality Act written by Democrats in the House of Representatives, dubbing himself “The Grim Reaper.” McConnell and Senate Republicans whose support is required to make it a law hold mostly anti-LGBT views. This means no bills passed to Senate that can improve the quality of life for LGBT Americans will survive to become law- however, these same Republicans are rushing to implement as many anti-LGBT policies as possible, rolling back all Obama era protections and weaponizing Religion to directly harm LGBT people.
The Trump Administration currently has a 90% approval rating among Republicans and Evangelicals. This has only increased during the recent impeachment inquiry leading many political experts to predict that Donald Trump will win his re-election bid in 2020.
*Edited to clarify which CDC Pages had been altered to replace LGBTQ with LGB according to the Web Integrity Project.