Reported federal plan on gender definition draws outrage

Posted: Updated:

There is growing outrage in Long Island's transgender community amid reports that the Trump administration may adopt a new definition of gender that could deny federal recognition and civil rights protections to transgender Americans.

The New York Times reports that the Department of Health and Human Services has circulated a memo proposing that gender be defined as an immutable biological condition determined by a person's sex organs at birth. The proposal would define sex as either male or female, and any dispute about one's sex would have to be clarified through genetic testing, according to the Times' account of the memo.

Members of the LGBT Network say it represents an attack against the transgender community. LGBT Network CEO David Kilmnick says the proposal would only incite hate and discrimination.

MORE COVERAGE: More on this story

"These are the steps that dictators and tyrants take, which is very dangerous," Kilmnick says. "We've seen this happen throughout our dark history, whether it was Hitler or other tyrants. The first step they take is try to erase a community."

According to the LGBT Network, one potential impact to the transgender community would be what gender they can put down on their driver's license.

President Trump was asked about the memo on Monday.

"We're looking at it very seriously," he said, adding, "I'm protecting everybody."

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) sent News 12 a statement on the issue that says, "I will continue to closely monitor this process should Congress have a role."

Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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