Bennet, Colleagues Call on Administration to End Efforts to Redefine Sex to Exclude Transgender Persons

Redefinition is putting politics ahead of science and access to health care

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet this month joined his colleges in sending a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar demanding the administration end any effort to redefine sex to exclude transgender and gender nonconforming people.

“The redefinition of sex reported in The New York Times would have devastating consequences for millions of people who do not recognize themselves as the sex assigned to them at birth or who are gender nonconforming,” the senators wrote.  “…Instead of dedicating HHS resources to increase discrimination in education and health care, you should be working to vigorously enforce the civil rights laws that Congress has enacted to protect the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people, including under Title IX and Section 1557 of the ACA.

On October 21, The New York Times reported that an internal memo drafted by HHS officials proposed a redefinition of sex under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). In their letter, the senators urged Secretary Azar to disavow the memo and speak out against any proposal that would undo non-discrimination protections on the basis of one’s sex, including one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender nonconformity. The senators also raised concerns that redefining sex under Title IX would have a broad and dangerous impact on transgender and gender nonconforming patients’ health care, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination in health programs based on definitions established in Title IX.

A copy of the letter is available HERE.