The Department of Health and Human Services has undertaken an effort to restrict the government’s definition of gender to just male and female, rolling back the Obama administration’s efforts to account for the more than 1 million transgender Americans, The New York Times reported Sunday based on a draft departmental memo it obtained.
The memo, which the Times reported has been circulating since last Spring, asserts that agencies need to define gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”
“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the memo adds. “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.”
Unnamed Trump administration officials told the Times that HHS is preparing to present the memo’s definition of gender to the Justice Department by the end of this year.
The Trump administration is currently in court over the President’s effort to ban openly transgender people from serving in the military. The reported HHS memo would affect many more areas of public life, the Times noted, from schools to prisons.
Read the Times’ report here.