Donald Trump’s administration has launched another assault on transgender people, stripping the Office of Personnel Management’s website of guidelines on the treatment of federal government employees who are trans.
The page with the guidelines disappeared Friday and was replaced with “generic language with no content specific to transgender people,” ThinkProgress reports.
The previous page, a holdover from President Barack Obama’s administration, defined terms relating to transgender people and offered advice on fair and equal treatment, such as using employees’ preferred names and pronouns, and allowing them access to restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. It is no longer live, but an archived version is available here.
The new page has only generic information and makes no mention of trans people except to say that the federal workplace should be free of discrimination based on gender identity or numerous other characteristics. Obama issued an executive order in 2014 banning gender identity–based discrimination against federal employees, having added a ban on sexual orientation discrimination in 2009. Despite the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ actions, these orders remain in effect.
The administration had already removed information related to LGBTQ people, women, and other populations from several federal sites. The day of Trump’s inauguration, January 20, 2017, a page devoted to LGBTQ issues disappeared from the White House site. Soon afterward, an apology for the so-called Lavender Scare, the purge of gay people from the federal government in the middle of the 20th century, vanished from the State Department website.
Later in the year, the Department of Health and Human Services deleted a page with information specifically for lesbians and bisexual women from its women’s health website, and a section prohibiting harassment and stereotyping based on sex was excised from a page pertaining to the Affordable Care Act.
This year, trans-friendly language was removed from the State Department’s passport page, although the policy for designating gender on passports hadn’t changed; the language was restored after outcry by trans groups. And a page on LGBTQ resources was deleted from the Small Business Administration’s website, but it was also eventually restored, due to complaints from Democratic members of Congress and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
The administration’s attempts to erase trans people go on, with a proposal to basically define them out of existence under federal law circulating among government agencies. And this past Friday, the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to allow Trump’s ban on military service by transgender people to go into effect, even though the lawsuits challenging the ban have not made their way through lower courts. The Supreme Court has yet to decide whether to hear the case.