Frankel, Sims condemn Trump administration move to narrow civil rights protections for transgender people

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – State Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Brian K. Sims, D-Philadelphia, today jointly condemned efforts by the Trump administration to roll back federal civil rights protections for transgender people.

Their actions were prompted by news that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is attempting to impose a restrictive definition of gender as a biological, immutable condition determined at birth and limited to “male” or “female.” Doing so would remove protections available to transgender people under current civil rights laws such as Title IX, which bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government assistance.

“This administration is attempting to legislate transgender men and women out of existence. But it doesn’t work that way. People won’t feel differently about their own bodies and lives just because Trump tells them to,” said Frankel, who is co-chairman of the House LGBT Equality Caucus.

Sims said, “The Trump administration’s proposal is designed to erase the legal identities of transgender Americans by destroying decades of American jurisprudence and precedent that unquestionably recognizes the scientific and medical reality of transgender existence. This is an abhorrent and dehumanizing attack on the transgender community that will undoubtedly cause millions of Americans to suffer. The federal government’s planned assault on Title IX is further evidence that the Commonwealth must pass the Fairness Act.”

“Underneath this attack on civil rights is something more insidious,” said Frankel, who suggested that the administration’s move was timed to politically inflame some in his base before the mid-term elections. “Trump is trying to use transgender Americans, real men and women who just want to go to school, excel at their jobs, and be with their families, as political weapons. In a time of scare tactics and fear-mongering, we must be proactive guardians of each other’s rights."