US: administration considering ‘different concepts’ regarding transgender rights, with some pushing back internally

President Trump said Monday that his administration is “seriously” considering changing the way it treats transgender people under the law, confirming what administration officials describe as a debate about whether to define a person’s sex as a biological fact determined at birth.

Trump confirmed Monday that a policy change toward transgender people was under consideration but said that there is more than one way to approach the issue. He was not specific about the potential alternatives.

“We’re looking at it. We have a lot of different concepts right now. They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now,” Trump said. “And we’re looking at it very seriously.”

Asked about his promise to protect LGBT people, he replied: “You know what I’m doing? I’m protecting everybody.”

The Health and Human Services Department has been pushing for the change, a fresh and direct aim at transgender rights, hoping other departments embrace that approach for sweeping impact. But it is unclear whether there is support for the broader effort or whether the regulation would be issued at all, as some in the administration are pushing back.

Such a change seeks to negate claims that gender identity — rather than biological gender — can be used for protection under federal civil rights laws such as Title IX, which bans sex discrimination. If such regulations were adopted, the federal government would consider a transgender person’s sex to be what is determined at birth rather than the gender with which they identify.

Conservatives have long argued that such federal protections were never meant to include gender identity, and they say that rules meant to help transgender people can wind up giving cover to, say, men who want to invade women’s bathrooms.

But the Education Department, which implements civil rights law regarding sex discrimination in the nation’s schools and colleges, is not eager to follow HHS’s lead, and the Justice Department is deferring to HHS, according to administration officials. Read more via Washington POst