DLP Condemns Trump Administration’s ​Act to Redefine Gender

October 26, 2018

As an organization comprised of Brothers from all walks of life, including transgender individuals, Delta Lambda Phi stands with our transgender Brothers, the transgender community, and those working in support of the transgender community. Moreover, we condemn the message in last week’s draft memo from the Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services.

On October 21, the New York Times leaked the draft memo, which revealed an intent to change the current definition of gender used by the federal government. This new definition seeks to define gender as “unchangeable” based on “biological sex at birth.” This line of thinking ignores the reality that gender identity is a separate construct from biological sex. By defining gender as “a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth,” the Department of Health and Human Services demonstrates not only a blatant disregard and willingness to ignore medical science, but also to intentionally attack, diminish, and devalue the identities of transgender & non-binary individuals.

In yet another direct attack on the LGBTQ community, the Trump administration demonstrates its malicious intent toward queer, non-binary, and transgender individuals. In a world and a country where this community is already at the highest risk of violence, the message the Department of Health and Human Services and the Trump administration continue to deliver is one of malevolence, disregard, and bigotry.

The New York Times makes a clear case for the intent behind this move, stating, “For the last year, the Department of Health and Human Services has privately argued that the term ‘sex’ was never meant to include gender identity or even homosexuality, and that the lack of clarity allowed the Obama administration to wrongfully extend civil rights protections to people who should not have them.”

We agree with the New York Times’ assessment. This change would roll back rights and protections given to transgender individuals afforded to them under Title IX and other federal law. The direction from the Department of Health and Human Services and by the Trump Administration is simply a continuation of the efforts to erase transgender, queer, and non-binary lives from our cultural map. And there is no evidence to suggest that the Trump Administration is not also looking to roll back protections on individuals based on their sexual orientation.

Delta Lambda Phi Fraternity has been fighting for over 30 years for equity and equality for our members and the LGBTQ community, and we will continue to lead in equal rights for all members of society. Delta Lambda Phi Fraternity stands with our transgender Brothers not only because of our founding principles, but also based on our pillar values of Friendship, Justice, and Diversity.

In fact, the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ movement began primarily due to a group of transgender people of color at The Stonewall Inn in 1969. Without them and the success they built for queer individuals, Delta Lambda Phi might not exist today. Our transgender Brothers and their community deserve our support in this fight.

In the face of this oppressive act, Delta Lambda Phi is ever more relevant and necessary to individuals across the United States and the globe. We must never stop fighting for justice – not only for our Brothers, but for our entire community.

In solidarity,

Michael Beavers
Trustee & Board of Directors Chair

Christopher Engle-Newman
CEO & Executive Director

Nolan Petersen
President, DLP Alumni Association