Donald Trump is expected to remove Obama-era protections for transgender prisoners
President Donald Trump is expected to rollback Obama-era protections for transgender inmates in the coming weeks.
The guidelines were provided by the Obama administration and have been under evaluation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) since last year.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons released guidelines protecting trans inmates two days before Trump became President.
The manual stated “respect” must be given to the “safety” of transgender inmates and that they could be moved to prisons matching their own gender, on a case-by-case basis.
The threat to these guidelines may come in the form of a legal settlement to a federal lawsuit filed in August.
Four evangelical Christian women in a Texas prison filed the case in an attempt to challenge the guidelines which allow trans women to avoid being placed in male prisons.
Rhonda Fleming, Jeanette Driever, Charlsa Little and Brenda Rhames are all serving sentences of four years or longer at a federal prison in Fort Worth.
“My bodily rights are being violated by the Defendants housing men in the prison,” lead plaintiff Rhonda Fleming, a Trump supporter, wrote in January 2017 misgendering the trans prisoners.
“I am being humiliated and degraded every day so that men that identify as women can be comfortable,” she added.
“The rights of naturally born women are ignored,” she added, transphobically.
The far-right Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) are the ones arguing for trans women to be segregated from non-trans women.
Requiring trans women to be housed in all-male prisons — or separating them in women’s institutions — just because other inmates have called for their expulsion could against the Obama administration’s regulations, experts have said.
“Specialised housing is flatly inconsistent” with the regulations, said Margo Schlanger, a civil rights and criminal detention expert at the University of Michigan Law School.
“If it’s confining [transgender inmates] not to protect them, but to protect others from them, that does not comply,” they added.
The Trump administration removing these protections may subject the 473 self-identifying trans people in federal prisons to “physical violence” and “rape,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
The DOJ and ADF are reportedly in negotiations to settle out of court, according to the Dallas Morning News.
This latest attack on trans people is consistent with the Trump adminstration’s approach in targeting LGBT rights.
Trump’s attacks on the LGBT community have also come by way of removing Obama-era protections for trans children in school.
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