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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges Civil Rights Protections for Transgender People

Release date: 11/19/2018

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged the Trump administration to abandon efforts to adopt a definition of “sex” that would exclude transgender and gender nonconforming individuals from the protections of federal civil rights laws.

Last month, it was reported that key officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were considering adopting a definition of sex as an immutable, binary biological trait determined by or before birth—and that the Department was urging other agencies, including the Department of Education, to do the same. Such a restrictive definition would effectively exclude transgender and gender nonconforming individuals from the protections of critical federal civil rights laws, including Title IX and the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

“Our civil rights laws are in place to protect people – not to exclude them,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Here in North Carolina, we know all too well that targeting transgender people is both discriminatory and damaging to our economy and reputation. That is why I am fighting to make sure civil rights protections are in place for all North Carolinians.”

In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Attorney General Stein, along with 20 other attorneys general, agree that “despite clear evidence of the serious harms that discrimination continues to inflict on the transgender community, the administration seems intent not only on rolling back existing federal civil rights protections for this vulnerable population, but also denying transgender people even basic recognition.”

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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