Gender identity equality is a human rights issue that should not be left up to debate by the states. In order to ensure equality for all gender identities, we believe policy surrounding this topic should be strictly controlled by the federal government. With the federal government in charge, we are confident that legislation will allow for gender identity protections in all contexts and locations across the United States.
While some states may not want to acknowledge any identity besides the one a person is born into, many states have shown their support for gender identity equality by passing their own legislation to prevent discrimination in the workplace, restrooms, and schools.
However, without consistency in our laws across the country, we believe that it will be nearly impossible to achieve total gender identity equality in the future. This inconsistency provides little incentive for those with conservative views to open their minds to ideas they are unfamiliar with.
Although our country has ways to go until equality is reached, we do feel that the federal government has made some progress over the past decade. While the federal government does not have many laws that pertain to gender identity explicitly, many federal courts have begun to look at previous sex discrimination laws in a new light that applies to discrimination based on all gender identities.
In 2014, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will consider gender discrimination based on sex and gender identity discrimination to be synonymous under federal law. This means that people facing gender identity discrimination will receive many of the same protections as those facing discrimination on a basis of their biological sex.
Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice’s new stance had been applied to the Title IX of the Education Amendment Acts of 1972. This act was originally created to prevent sex discrimination in all educational programs that receive federal money. However, rather than solely protecting equality of the sexes, this law was then applied to those who are transgender or nonconforming.
While the U.S. has taken many steps forward, it has also taken several steps back since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency. Since Trump took office, he has withdrawn federal protections for transgender students that would allow them to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. We believe that this decision is extremely harmful for transgender and nonconforming students who live in states that have chosen not to comply with the guidelines put in place by the Obama Administration.
We feel it is ridiculous that a person can have full rights in one state, and then be stripped of their rights in another.