The policy that has been secretly drafted over the last 9 months meticulously laid out a plan of actions to exclude transgender people from inclusion in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
It comes in the form of the official confirmation of Eric Dreiband, Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.
If you recognize Dreiband’s name, it’s because he fought the state of North Carolina to honor the notorious anti-trans bathroom bill that would prevent transgender students from using public facilities in their own schools. His bigotry wasn’t restricted to the trans community, however. The bigoted lawyer also challenged every local government in his state that attempted to pass anti-discrimination laws that targeted the LGBT community and women.
He fought for revisions in the Affordable Care Act that would enable medical providers to cite their faith-based objections in discriminating against LGBT people. Although that effort was originally denied, it was later implemented in the shape of the newly formed Religious Freedom and New Conscience Division of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Every Republican in Senate voted to install Dreiband into the seat of civil rights control, while every Democrat voted against his confirmation, claiming he had done nothing more than devote his entire career to enabling discrimination and inciting hatred toward minorities. Given that the house and Senate are controlled by Republicans, their effort to stop his appointment was in vain. He was confirmed with a 52–45 vote.
Yesterday, the New York Times revealed that Trump had laid his crosshairs on the civil rights of Transgender people with the intention of removing all remaining protections under the civil rights act, exposing us to a broad scope of discriminatory acts would, by consequence, be sanctioned by the White House. We would be legally denied housing, employment, education and would possess no freedoms, equalities or benefits of the justice system. The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution which reads;
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. — The 14th Amendment: Section 1
Would no longer apply to us.
The previous appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was integral in this movement to marginalize transgender Americans. With a bench composed predominantly of conservatives, any appeal made on behalf of LGBT people would likely be denied as the scales of justice in America’s highest court have tipped to favor religion over equality.
This cunning plan has long been in the making, both Kavanaugh and Dreiband have played a vital role in putting it in motion. To be clear, Trump’s aggressive campaigning for both men was not simply a matter of ego, but essential to the agenda of his administration in achieving the ultimate goal of dismantling the civil rights act to exclude transgender people and, most certainly in the near future, gay people as well.
It was a year ago, in fact, that Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave us the first glimpse of things to come when he openly stated that the civil rights act did not protect people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. At the time, most just brushed his statements off as the same brand of ignorance that this current administration has become known for. Of course, Sessions has a sinister history of attempting to obstruct the voting rights of black and latinx Americans and has openly longed for a complete gutting of the civil rights act. Just a few months after that, Diana Flynn, a former senior official at the Justice Department, resigned from her position, saying that the department was in the process of pursuing what she determined as detrimental rollbacks to LGBT rights.
How did we not see this coming?
More importantly, what can we do about it now? If we’re to give credit to anyone for executing such a malignant plot, it isn’t Trump alone. Often, The Presidents primary puppeteer is his Vice President, the hyper-religious zealot Mike Pence- who also actively attempted to suppress minority voting in his home state of Indiana during the 2016 election– and Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, who has been recorded saying of the white house staff, “The staff and everyone on the staff work for me, not the President.”
Despite his public antics and face-palming buffoonery, Donald Trump’s words may be his own, but his policies have the fingerprints of Mike Pence and John Kelly all over them… and both of them work closer with Trump’s nemesis, Jeff Sessions, than Trump himself ever would. Still, somehow, Sessions planted the seeds that would ensure the excision of Trans people from civil rights and basic protections and with the help of John Kelley and Mike Pence, it was given the presidential stamp of approval.
What remains most disturbing about this administration is how calculated their efforts have been to build their own impenetrable wall around themselves to ensure every move they make avoids blockading. From nominating judges to installing hate-motivated leaders in top positions, they thwart any potential intervention by democrats, even in the nations Supreme Court which they now, unquestionably, control indefinitely.
Even if democrats win the house majority in the mid-term elections, they enter their positions in shackles created by this administration; Ineffective, in fact, nearly powerless.
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