This week, The White House revoked Obama-era policies for Transgender prisoners protecting them from rape and violence from other prisoners. The Trump/Pence administration continues to roll back LGBTQ Rights, turning its aim towards the transgender community.
The current administration ordered the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to use ”biological sex” in determining how transgender prisoners are assigned housing and services, putting them at risk of assault and sexual abuse.
The Obama administration issued a guideline for the Bureau of Prisons with directions on the intake and supervision of transgender inmates, including medical treatment, housing guidelines, and use of pronouns. In a memo, the Obama White House noted that transgender inmates are at increased risk of suicide, mental health issues and victimization. The Obama directive was put into place after an extensive review to develop workable and reasonable procedures that would protect some of the most vulnerable people in our prison system.
The new Trump/Pence guideline inserts the word ”necessary” in managing medical care and hormone therapy for transgender prisoners, allowing officials to decide when or whether inmates will receive medically services for transitioning.
The memo undoes the regulations first implemented in 2012. The Trump/Pence Administration’s new directive also conflicts with protections under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2002 passed by congress during the George W. Bush administration.
The new guideline reads:
”The designation to a facility of the inmate’s identified gender would be appropriate only in rare cases.”
The decision to disregard a transgender prisoner’s gender identity is dangerous and disrespectful. It ignores medical expertise and defies common sense. Transgender people under the control of the Bureau of Prisons will face greater risk of abuse, discrimination, assault, rape, and possible death.
Also this week, charming Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill that would allow child welfare organizations, including adoption and foster care agencies, to turn away LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection, can now be legally turned away.
The best interests of children is now is less important than the religious beliefs of social workers in Oklahoma. The bill is discriminatory, harmful to kids and completely unnecessary.
Congrats, Oklahoma! You now have the distinction of being the only state to sign an anti-LGBTQ bill into law so far in 2018. Governor Fallin and Oklahoma Republicans think nothing of discriminating against LGBTQ parents, stripping qualified potential parents and foster-parents of their ability to provide for children in need.
Oklahoma has more than 16,000 children seeking adoption.
South Dakota, Michigan, Alabama, and Texas already have similar legislation.