Trump & Pence threaten our survival every day

As we commiserate on one whole unbelievable and horrific year under this homophobic administration, it is vital that we know exactly what we are up against. The following is a list of anti-LGBT and anti-transgender actions from the Trump-Pence administration. We Must Resist, resist, resist:

January 18th, 2018: The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights opened a “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” that will promote discrimination by health care providers who can cite religious or moral reasons for denying care.

December 14th: Staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instructed not to use the “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based” in official documents.

October 6th: Justice Department released a sweeping “license to discriminate” allowing federal agencies, government contractors, government grantees, and even private businesses to engage in illegal discrimination, as long as they can cite religious reasons for doing so.

October 5th: Justice Department released a memo instructing Department of Justice attorneys to take the legal position that federal law does not protect transgender workers from discrimination.

September 7th: Justice Department filed a legal brief on behalf of the US in the Supreme Court, arguing for a constitutional right for businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and, implicitly, gender identity.

August 25th: Trump released a memo directing Defense Department to move forward with developing a plan to discharge transgender military service members and to maintain a ban on recruitment.

July 26th: Trump announced, via Twitter, that “the US Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military.”

July 26th: Justice Department filed a legal brief on behalf of the US in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or, implicitly, gender identity.

June 14th: Education Department withdrew its finding that an Ohio school district discriminated against a transgender girl. The Department gave no explanation for withdrawing the finding, which a federal judge upheld.

May 2nd: HHS announced a plan to roll back regulations interpreting the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provisions to protect transgender people.

April 14th: Justice Department abandoned its historic lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s anti-transgender law. It did so after North Carolina replaced HB2 with a different anti-transgender law known as “HB 2.0.”

April 4th: Justice and Labor Departments cancelled quarterly conference calls with LGBT organizations; on these calls, which have happened for years, government attorneys share information on employment laws and cases.

March 31:  Justice Department announced it would review (and likely seek to scale back) numerous civil rights settlement agreements with police departments. These settlements were put in places where police departments were determined to be engaging in discriminatory and abusive policing, including racial and other profiling. Many of these agreements include critical protections for LGBT people.

March: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) removed links to four key resource documents from its website, which informed emergency shelters on best practices for serving transgender people facing homelessness and complying with HUD regulations.

March 28th: Census Bureau retracted a proposal to collect demographic information on LGBT people in the 2020 Census.

March 24th: Justice Department cancelled a long-planned National Institute of Corrections broadcast on “Transgender Persons in Custody: The Legal Landscape.”

March 13th: HHS announced that its national survey of older adults, and the services they need, would no longer collect information on LGBT participants. HHS initially falsely claimed in its Federal Register announcement that it was making “no changes” to the survey.

March 13th: State Department announced the official US delegation to the UN’s 61st annual Commission on the Status of Women conference would include two outspoken anti-LGBT organizations, including a representative of the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM): an organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

March 10th: HUD announced it would withdraw two important agency-proposed policies designed to protect LGBT people experiencing homelessness.

One proposed policy would have required HUD-funded emergency shelters to put up a poster or “notice” to residents of their right to be free from anti-LGBT discrimination under HUD regulations.

The other announced a survey to evaluate the impact of the LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative, implemented by HUD and other agencies over the last three years. This multi-year project should be evaluated, and with this withdrawal, we may never learn what worked best in the project to help homeless LGBTQ youth.

March 8th: HHS removed demographic questions about LGBT people that Centers for Independent Living must fill out each year in their Annual Program Performance Report. This report helps HHS evaluate programs that serve people with disabilities.

March 2nd: Justice Department abandoned its request for a preliminary injunction against North Carolina’s anti-transgender House Bill 2, which prevented North Carolina from enforcing HB 2. This was an early sign that the administration was giving up defending trans people (later, on April 14, it withdrew the lawsuit completely).

March 1st: Justice Department took the highly unusual step of declining to appeal a nationwide preliminary court order temporarily halting enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination protections for transgender people. The injunction prevents HHS from taking any action to enforce trans people’s rights from health care discrimination.

February 22nd, 2017: Departments of Justice and Education withdrew landmark 2016 guidance explaining how schools must protect transgender students under the federal Title IX law. – Transequality.org/the-discrimination-administration. t

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Sage Piper
Sage Piper
Sage Piper lives on poetry, coffee, the Resistance, and lots of pasta. She works all day supporting those who choose to spend their lives working to improve her beloved Bmore and the lives of her fellow citizens, in every neighborhood. Sage came to Baltimore in the 1980’s to study political science and attend Johns Hopkins University, fell full-swoon into the open, irresistible arms of Charm City, and she has never left. Along the way she has been a restaurant sous chef, a White House intern, an elementary school teacher, an incurable optimist, and a fervent political junkie. On off hours, you can probably find Sage running with Back On My Feet,hanging at Red Emma’s, dancing til dawn, or sipping Zeke’s coffee and buying local produce, pickles, and garlic olives every Saturday morning at the Waverly Farmer’s Market. Sage’s favorite time of year is when Baltimore springs to life amid the crack of baseball bats in the air, both weekend Farmer’s Markets in full swing,and road bikes tuning up for the140-mile ride with many big-hearted soulmates for the Ride For The Feast to raise money and support her favorite mission, Moveable Feast in Baltimore.