Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has made her mark on the LGBT rights movement in California through a long career of fighting on the front lines for transgender rights.
But on Tuesday, she made a bold move in a state where transgender rights are not only under threat, but the nation is also on the verge of passing anti-transgender legislation.
Feinstein and her colleagues on the Senate’s Equality, Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination Committee voted on a resolution that would end federal anti-discrimination protections for trans people, ending the “gender identity” designation as a protected class under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The decision marks the latest chapter in the fight for transgender equality.
And it will almost certainly have a dramatic impact on the way transgender rights in the U.S. are viewed.
On Thursday, the U,S.
Supreme Court will hear a case that will determine whether the federal government is legally allowed to use gender identity as a basis for discrimination in employment and housing.
In a move that will reverberate far beyond California, Feinstein and her allies are asking the justices to declare the designation to be a protected status under the 1964 Civil Rights act.
“I believe that we should have the ability to use this designation to protect the trans community, because we’re living in a time when people are dying and dying young because of discrimination, and the LGBT communities are dying because of it,” Feinstein told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
“When you’re living with discrimination and it doesn’t end up in the death of the individual, it does not end up with the death or with the disability of the person, and then it becomes the law of the land, that it’s OK to discriminate against them, and to discriminate when they are not able to get the help they need.”
The move comes after Feinstein made national headlines in June when she came out as transgender in an article for The Guardian.
Feinstein, a liberal Democrat from San Francisco, has made fighting for LGBT rights a key part of her political career, even as she’s been a staunch opponent of the anti-LGBT discrimination bill that passed the U House last month.
“For a long time, I’ve said that we need to be able to be who we are,” Feinstein said.
“We’re a group of people who love each other.
We’re a community of love and acceptance.”
But Feinstein’s push for an end to the discrimination designation has drawn criticism from conservatives, who say the change could ultimately lead to the erasure of protections that already exist in the law.
“This is a huge step forward for the transgender community in California, and a very significant one for the trans rights movement across the country,” said Brian Brown, director of the Transgender Law Center at the University of Southern California.
“The fact that the administration is trying to dismantle the protections that exist now is just another example of the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress going to their level of transphobia.”
They are trying to make it easier for the government to discriminate and to not even provide basic protections like medical care or housing, and that’s a huge problem for the people who need those things most,” Brown added.”
As more and more people are coming out of the closet, more and many are losing their homes, many are being harassed and bullied in schools and many others are in prison, it’s becoming more and less difficult for people to find jobs or access the things they need to survive.
“Feinstein said she believes the repeal of the discrimination protection designation will allow trans people to “come out” and seek employment in the private sector.
But the state’s transgender advocacy groups, which are also pushing for protections for people who are transgender, are not impressed.”
The Trump administration has made significant changes to federal immigration law in recent weeks. “
This is another example where the Trump-led administration is working to dismantle protections for the most vulnerable people.”
The Trump administration has made significant changes to federal immigration law in recent weeks.
Under Trump, a new rule that would allow immigrants to apply for a waiver from U.N. refugee resettlement quotas has already been rescinded, and there is a proposal to rescind the current “special consideration” rules for refugees, who are eligible for priority admission.
But the repeal also has the potential to affect many immigrants, particularly in the South, who already have been targeted for discrimination and abuse in their home countries.
“It’s not about discrimination; it’s about protecting the rights of vulnerable populations,” said Mark Pitcavage, the executive director at the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“And it’s going to create more and greater vulnerabilities for vulnerable populations.”