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THIS IS CLEARLY DISCRIMINATION

Trump Again Targets Transgender People – This Time in New Proposal to Rescind Obama-Era Healthcare Protections

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President Donald Trump, through his Dept. of Health and Human Services, is once again targeting transgender people, this time by proposing a new rule that would rescind Obama-era healthcare protections.

The proposed rule would let doctors and other medical professionals, and health care organizations discriminate against transgender people by allowing them to deny care to someone on the basis of gender identity.

“Predicated on little more than prejudice, this proposal will abandon 2 million Americans who already face significant barriers to accessing adequate and life-saving health care,” Mara Keisling, Executive Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement. “This is not about free health care or special treatment. It’s about the right of every American to be treated with dignity when they walk into an emergency room, meet a new doctor, or find the right insurance plan. If permitted, this rule will promote ignorance and hate that no American should have to face while seeking care, and we are ready to fight it with everything we’ve got.”

The Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, headed by Roger Severino, will be in charge of the new rule, including determining if it will go into effect. The Human Rights Campaign has called Severino a “radical anti-LGBTQ activist.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

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THIS IS CLEARLY DISCRIMINATION

Trans Americans Still Face Tremendous Discrimination in the Workforce

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Activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith founded Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost due to trans prejudice and hatred.

In that spirit of reflection, the day serves as an opportune time to examine how the opportunities and experiences of transgender individuals in the workplace have changed – particularly at a time when some government officials are openly advocating policies that discriminate against them.

Transgender Americans still face workplace discrimination despite some progress and support of companies like Apple.

I’ve been researching diversity and inclusion in a variety of settings including sports and work for nearly two decades. The good news is that my work and that of my peers shows transgender individuals have made significant strides in the workplace. The bad news is that many hurdles remain to equal opportunity and an end to discrimination.

Signs of progress

Various indicators and signs point to meaningful improvements in the access, treatment and opportunities for transgender employees.

One such indicator is the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, an annual assessment of policies and benefits for LGBT individuals in Fortune 500 companies. In 2002, only 3 percent of Fortune 500 companies had nondiscrimination polices based on gender identity. That figure was 83 percent in the most recent report, which came out in 2018.

The report also shows that most Fortune 500 companies now include transgender-inclusive medical benefits. In 2002, no companies offered such provisions.

Another measure of how much things have changed is in the willingness of corporate giants and their CEOs to oppose policies that discriminate against trandsgender individuals.

A recent example is when President Donald Trump said he would seek to legally define gender as immutably male or female. Coca-Cola, Apple, JP Morgan Chase and dozens of other major U.S. companies swiftly signaled their opposition.

Another is the backlash that has followed legislative efforts to limit the rights of transgender individuals to use pubic restrooms. North Carolina, for example, was estimated to lose US$3.76 billion over a dozen years after companies nixed plans to build facilities in the state or canceled concerts because of the “bathroom bill” lawmakers passed. They later repealed it.

My own research with a colleague shows why corporate America is taking a stand: Most consumers value inclusiveness. Participants in a study we conducted in 2014 interpreted LGBT-inclusive statements by organizations as a signal that the company valued all forms of diversity. As a result, the consumers’ attraction to the organization increased.

Hurdles remain

Despite the progress, hurdles still exist, impeding full trans inclusion in the workplace.

study I conducted with another colleague in 2017, for example, showed that, although attitudes toward transgender individuals have improved over time, they still lag behind perceptions toward lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals.

Legal scholars from UCLA’s Williams Institute have shown that transgender people earn less and are more likely to be unemployed than their cisgender peers – whose gender corresponds to their birth sex. In fact, in 2011, one in seven transgender individuals earned $10,000 or less a year, while the unemployment rate for trans people of color was nearly four times the national rate.

For those who are employed, they routinely face discrimination. In another study out of the Williams Institute, state law and policy director Christy Mallory and colleagues found that more than one in four reported being fired, passed over for promotion or not being hired in the past year because of their gender identity and expression.

Others are aware of the mistreatment. In a survey of Texans – a state where employment discrimination against transgender individuals is legal – 79 percent of the respondents agreed that LGBT individuals face workplace discrimination.

Texans are not alone. According to the Movement Advancement Project, an organization whose mission is to promote equality for all, 48 percent of LGBT individuals live in states lacking employment protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

More inclusive workplaces

The evidence suggests transgender individuals have made progress in the workplace, but they still face considerable barriers. What, then, can employers do to create more inclusive environments?

Legal protections are key. Organizational psychologists Laura Barron and Michelle Hebl have shown that the presence of anti-discrimination ordinances and laws decrease bias in employment decision making. Absent federal protections, states and cities can ensure all people have employment protections, irrespective of their gender identity and expression.

Organizational leaders also make a difference. My research shows that leader advocacy and role modeling are critical when creating and sustaining an inclusion culture. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, has a history of strongly advocating for LGBT rights. It is little wonder, then, that Apple is routinely listed among the most LGBT-friendlycompanies.

Finally, co-workers play an important role, especially when they serve as allies. These are persons who advocate for transgender equality in the workplace and try to create welcoming, inclusive spaces. Allies seek to create social change, leading the charge at times and supporting their transgender colleagues in other instances.

Transgender inclusion helps all involved. Employee engagement and performance improves, as does their psychological and physical health. Diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their peers on objective measures of success, such as stock market performance.

Thus, the path forward – one that clears the hurdles in place and creates an inclusive environment – is one that can benefit everyone.The Conversation

George B. Cunningham, Professor of Sport Management and Sr. Assistant Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies, Texas A&M University

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Trump Administration Moves to End All Trans Protections via New Rule

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Transgender rights protest

In their boldest move against LGBTQ rights, the Trump administration is considering an exceedingly limited definition of sex that would likely erase any and all transgender rights and protections.

The proposed rule, according to a report in the New York Times, would define sex as “either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with.”

The rule is coming out via the Department of Health and Human Services under Alex Azar.

HHS has been arguing that “sex” doesn’t include gender identity over the last year, and has, according to the Times, felt that the “lack of clarity” caused by inclusive Obama-era rules “wrongfully extend civil rights protections to people who should not have them.”

In the memo, HHS states that governmental bodies need a uniform definition of gender that is formed “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”

All disputes regarding sex would be based solely on genetic testing.

The move would roll back protections at all levels of the Federal government for transgender people.

The draft memo, which has been circulating since spring, also takes aim at birth certificates, saying, “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.”

This rule would fly in the face of scientific reality. By defining sex so rigidly, it would essentially ignore intersex people as well as transgender people.

It has been scientifically understood for decades that sex is not rigidly defined, and that there is a great variation of potential genetic markers beyond XX and XY, the most common chromosome pairs for sex determination.

This is the boldest move yet from the administration since their attempts to bar transgender people from the military.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

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THIS IS CLEARLY DISCRIMINATION

Last Year Federal Courts Ordered Trump to Start Accepting Transgender Recruits – He’s All but Refused

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A federal court back in November ordered the Trump administration to begin accepting transgender recruits on January 1 into the U.S. Military, per a previous Obama policy. In the weeks that followed, several federal courts, including at least one appeals court, ruled Trump’s attempt to ban transgender service members could not stand and ordered him to begin accepting transgender service members January 1.

The New York Times reports “nearly all … transgender recruits who have tried to join up since a federal court ordered the Trump administration not to ban them from the military,” are “still waiting” to hear back from the Pentagon, run by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (photo, with Trump) after having applied on or after January 1.

Since those federal court rulings, “scores have applied — but it appears almost none are being accepted.”

“The Defense Department refused requests for statistics on transgender enlistments. But Sparta, an organization for transgender recruits, troops and veterans, says that out of its 140 members who are trying to enlist, only two have made it into the service since Jan. 1.”

Among those The Times mentions are a man who has “two martial arts black belts,” “aced the military aptitude test, and organized the stack of medical records required to show he was stable and healthy enough to serve.”

Others include a rugby coach, a substitute teacher, someone who “repairs tractors and heaves bales of hay for the cattle that he and his grandmother keep on a small hillside farm in Appalachia,” and another applicant who “moves 200-pound tanks of carbon dioxide for a job creating special effects for Broadway shows.”

It seems clear the Trump administration is doing everything it can to find reasons to reject any applicant who is transgender, and at a time when the military is in desperate need of new recruits.

“One applicant in Ohio spent five months submitting more and more medical records, and then was rejected in late May because of knee surgery he had as an infant,” 25 years prior.

“We’ve heard people are meeting with mystifying obstacles,” Shannon Minter, the the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). “We want to give the military the benefit of the doubt, but at this point so few applicants have been accepted, there is reason to be concerned that there is some passive resistance to the injunctions, and people are getting slow-walked.”

 

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