SACRAMENTO, Nov. 9, 2018 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today sent a letter to President Trump, Secretaries Azar, Acosta, and DeVos, and Acting Attorney General Whitaker, condemning the Administration’s reported plan to alter federal law to narrowly define “sex” as an immutable, biological condition assigned at birth.  This change would effectively deny the existence of transgender Americans, denying them basic protections that allow people to learn, work, and seek medical care in a safe environment without discrimination.

“Once again, the Trump Administration seems intent on rolling back the civil rights advancements of the last half century: this time with another unlawful and disgraceful attack on transgender Americans,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This latest proposal contradicts the values of equality that our nation was built on. What’s worse, it threatens the health, job security, and education of our community members. We urge the Trump Administration to abandon these harmful and discriminatory efforts, and we stand ready to protect the civil rights of all Americans.” 

In the letter, Attorney General Becerra asserts that the Trump Administration’s proposed changes are discriminatory and unsupported by federal law. In addition to being contrary to law, the letter warns that the Trump Administration’s plan would have harmful impacts on the health and security of thousands of Californians as well as the public health system. The American Medical Association has noted that those “who live in states with discriminatory policies have statistically significant increases in mental health and psychiatric diagnoses.”

California has been a leader in protecting civil rights and liberties for our transgender residents, working to ensure that individuals can work, learn, and receive care in a safe environment, free from discrimination. California has protected transgender people from workplace and housing discrimination for over a decade and was one of the first states to explicitly protect transgender students in our schools. These protections are crucial for the health and well-being of students and workers, regardless of gender or gender identity.

In December 2017, Attorney General Becerra obtained a nationwide injunction protecting transgender Americans serving in the military. He also joined an amicus brief in support of transgender rights for veterans in the case Fulcher v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, defending the right to health care coverage from the Department of Veterans Affairs for medically necessary care, including sex reassignment surgery.

A copy of the comment letter can be found here.