Over the last 48 hours, several government bodies escalated egregious efforts to endanger the rights and safety of transgender and queer folks. End Rape on Campus (EROC) condemns this infringement on the civil rights of the LGBTQ community.
On Tuesday night, the Texas state Senate passed a bill restricting the ability of transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity, thereby threatening the right of transgender people to exist safely in public spaces. Yesterday, President Trump tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Later that day, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arguing that sexual orientation is not protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suggestion that sexual orientation is not covered by a prohibition on sex discrimination, despite years of case law suggesting otherwise, is emblematic of continued attacks on civil rights by this administration.
Every one of these decisions is individually harmful, but collectively they represent a disturbing trend of government systematically threatening the rights of the most vulnerable. EROC is outraged by the transphobia and homophobia exhibited by officials at the state and national level, including some of the highest offices of our federal government.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Trump Administration has made harmful decisions targeting the transgender community. In February, the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded guidance that allowed transgender students the ability to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. It is unacceptable for government officials to consistently and strategically disenfranchise the most marginalized members of our nation.
EROC Executive Director, Annie E. Clark said, “These hateful, discriminatory policy decisions at all levels of government, signal to LGBTQ students that somehow their lives are worth less than those of their cisgender, heterosexual peers, and that their government will not protect them. To the LGBTQ community: End Rape on Campus will continue to stand with you in the fight against discrimination, and center your voices in our work to eradicate gender based violence. We are committed to ensuring that all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity can live safely and access education equally.”
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End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to ending gender based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention through education, and policy advocacy. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org.