ACTION: Tell the Members of Congress who Signed on to Representative Kennedy’s Letter to the Department of Health and Human Services that Sex Should NOT be Defined to Mean “Gender Identity” for Title IX Purposes.

The Issue

Senator Joseph P. Kennedy III recently drafted a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), arguing that sex should be defined to mean “gender identity” for the purpose of interpreting and applying Title IX. This is absurd. Title IX was enacted to protect women and girls, not to protect someone’s self-declared “gender identity.” Ninety-eight Members of Congress signed on. Tell these legislators that sex means what it has always meant – the state of being male or female – and that Title IX should be interpreted and applied in the way it was intended to be.

What You Can Do

Express your insistence that Title IX be interpreted and applied the way it was intended to be. Check through the House Representatives signatory list and if your Representative is listed contact them, and/or as many of the other Representatives as you can and email the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the other emails listed (see below).

Email Script

In your recent endorsement of Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III’s letter to HHS concerning Title IX, you expressed your sincere desire to promote justice and equality and protect the rights of trans-identified Americans. I wholeheartedly agree with that premise. You seem to be unaware, however, that the letter you signed proposes to achieve that in a way that is harmful to other Americans, specifically women and girls – the class of people that Title IX was enacted to protect.

Specifically, if “gender identity” is allowed to trump “sex” as a legal category, this will harm women and girls, who have historically and relentlessly been excluded from and discriminated against within the educational arena (mainly sports teams and facilities).

Please do not disregard this viewpoint out of hand. Please think through some of the following assumptions that you are have left unexamined in your letter.

Assumption #1:
That distinguishing between “sex” and “gender identity” will automatically harm trans-identified people and their civil rights and protections.

The “gender identity” movement is the only “rights” movement that actually violates the civil rights of others. As public officials, you need to determine how to balance and protect the rights of all.

Assumption #2:
That “biological sex” is “a cruel and unscientific definition of sex.”

In 1972, at the time “sex” was used in Title IX, there was no need to define it, as it was tacitly and scientifically understood as biological reality as it had been for millennia.

Science has firmly established that a person cannot change their sex; every cell in the human body is imprinted as either male or female. This is not cruel, but simple reality.

Assumption #3:
That anyone who supports “biological sex” as a sound legal criteria is an “extremist” and intends to “infringe upon the dignity, rights and lives of transgender people.”

This is resoundingly false. There are sound reasons to maintain biological sex as a legal category. For one, to allow males legal status as females violates women’s civil right to gather and organize politically as women. Women’s rights were and continue to be fought on the material basis of women being a sex-based category, not an “identity.” Again, the “gender identity” movement is the only “rights” movement that actually violates the civil rights of others. Consider the 19th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” No one is confused about what that means.

Assumption #4
“Gender identity” is sufficiently defined. It is not.

As public officials, you should know that something which defines itself by itself should not be considered a coherent legal category. Yet that is precisely what the proposed definition of “gender identity” does.

“…’gender identity’ means the gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.” (proposed federal USA Equality Act)

“Gender,” however, is never defined. Further, it is characterized by stereotypes (appearance and mannerisms).

For all the above reasons and more, I urge you to thoroughly re-think your assumptions. I urge you investigate the far reaching legal, moral and material harm caused by these erroneous assumptions.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

Targets

Email

Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary@HHS.gov

Cc: Office of Violence Against Women
ovw.info@usdoj.gov  , Constance.Tobias@hhs.gov , christopher.villator@hhs.gov , Paul.Schiffin@hhs.gov , Molly.McBurney@hhs.gov , Shawnice.Nickens@hhs.gov ,  Katherine.Scott@hhs.gov 

Copy major media outlets:

guardian.readers@theguardian.com, USinfo@theguardian.com, mcgrory@globe.com, readers@washpost.com, acooper@sfchronicle.com, dbaquet@nytimes.com, cosmo.mail@hearst.co.uk, evening@cbsnews.com, NBCNewsMediaRelations@nbcuni.com, readers@washpost.com, Rachel@msnbc.com, betsy.reed@theintercept.com, submissions@truthdig.com, info@truthout.org, counterpunch@counterpunch.org, queries@cjr.org, letters@harpers.org, hrwpress@hrw.org, scoop@motherjones.com, mail@newleftreview.org, comments@newstatesman.co.uk, support@salon.com, slateoffice@slate.com, newsdesk@independent.co.uk, Stephanie.ebbert@globe.com, editorialsubmissions@nymag.com, comments@nymag.com, outreach@democracynow.org, stories@democracynow.org, nermeen@democracynow.org, mike@democracynow.org, producers@democracynow.org, amy@democracynow.org, metro@sfchronicle.com, Charlotte.greensit@theintercept.com, jeffrey_goldberg@theatlantic.com, swati@theatlantic.com, sgaiser@sfexaminer.com, swilliams@abqjournal.com, dharris@azcapitaltimes.com, webteam@postandcourier.com, slateoffice@slate.com, media@thefederalist.com, swati@theatlantic.com, sgaiser@sfexaminer.com, swilliams@abqjournal.com, webteam@postandcourier.com, readers@forbes.com

House Members who signed letter:

Raul M. Grijalva, 3rd District Arizona https://grijalva.house.gov/connect-with-raul

Mark DeSaulnier, 11th District California https://desaulnier.house.gov/contact

Alan Lowenthal, 47th District California https://lowenthal.house.gov/contact/

Linda T. Sanchez, 38th District California https://lindasanchez.house.gov/contact/email

Eric Swalwell, 15th District California https://swalwell.house.gov/contact

Salud Carbajal, 24th District California https://carbajal.house.gov/contact/

Jimmy Panetta, 20th District California https://panetta.house.gov/contact

Ted W. Lieu, 33rd District California https://lieu.house.gov/contact/email

Pete Aguilar, 31st District California https://peteaguilar.com/contact-us/

Jimmy Gomez, 34th District California https://gomez.house.gov/contact/

Anna G. Eshoo, 18th District California https://eshoo.house.gov/contact/

Jackie Speier, 14th District California https://speier.house.gov/contact/email

Scott H. Peters, 52nd District California https://scottpeters.house.gov/contact

Raul Ruiz, District 36 California https://ruiz.house.gov/contact

Nanette Barragan, 44th District California https://barragan.house.gov/contact/

Zoe Lofgren, 19th District California https://lofgren.house.gov/contact

Jared Huffman, 2nd District California https://huffman.house.gov/contact

Mark Takano, 41st District California https://takano.house.gov/contact/email-me

Ro Khanna, 17th District California https://khanna.house.gov/contact/email

Julia Brownley26th District California https://juliabrownley.house.gov/contact/email-me/

Adam Schiff, 28th District California https://schiff.house.gov/contact

Tony Cardenas, 29th District California https://cardenas.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Brad Sherman, 30th District California https://sherman.house.gov/

Barbara Lee, 13th District California https://lee.house.gov/contact/email-me

Judy Chu, 27th District California https://chu.house.gov/contact

Karen Bass, 37th District California https://bass.house.gov/contact

Jared Polis, 2nd District Colorado https://polis.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/

Diana DeGette, 1st District Colorado https://degette.house.gov/contact/send-me-an-email/email-me

Elizabeth H. Esty, 5th District Connecticut https://esty.house.gov/contact/email

Joe Courtney, 2nd District Connecticut https://courtney.house.gov/contact/email

Rosa DeLauro, 3rd District Connecticut https://delauro.house.gov/contact/email

Lisa Blunt Rochester, At-Large District Delaware https://bluntrochester.house.gov/contact/

Eleanor Holmes Norton, Non-Voting Delegate District of Columbia https://norton.house.gov/contact

Frederica Wilson, 24th District Florida https://wilson.house.gov/contact/email-me

Alcee Hastings, 20th District Florida https://alceehastings.house.gov/contact/

Ted Deutch, 22nd District Florida https://teddeutch.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/

Stephanie Murphy, 7th District Florida https://murphy.house.gov/contact/default.aspx

Charlie Crist, 13th District Florida https://crist.house.gov/contact/

Lois Frankel, 21st District Florida https://frankel.house.gov/contact/

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 23rd District Florida https://wassermanschultz.house.gov/contact/

Darren Soto, 9th District Florida https://soto.house.gov/contact/email

Hank Johnson, 4th District Georgia https://hankjohnson.house.gov/contact/email

Colleen Hanabusa,1st District Hawaii https://hanabusa.house.gov/contact/email

Tulsi Gabbard, 2nd District Hawaii https://gabbard.house.gov/connect

Jan Schakowsky, 9th District Illinois https://schakowsky.house.gov/write-to-congresswoman-jan-schakowsky

Mike Quigley, 5th District Illinois https://quigley.house.gov/contact

Luis Gutierrez, 4th District Illinois https://gutierrezforms.house.gov/contact/

Andre Carson, 7th District Indiana https://carson.house.gov/contact

John Yarmuth, 3rd District Kentucky https://yarmuth.house.gov/contact-john2/

Chellie Pingree, 1st District Maine https://pingree.house.gov/contact/email-me

Elijah E. Cummings, 7th District Maryland https://cummings.house.gov/contact/email

Jamie Raskin, 8th District Maryland https://raskin.house.gov/contact/email

Anthony G. Brown, 4th District Maryland https://anthonybrown.house.gov/contact

Joseph P. Kennedy III 4th District Massachusetts https://kennedy.house.gov/contact/email-me

Seth Moulton, 6th District Massachusetts https://moulton.house.gov/contact/email/

Rick Nolan, 8th District Minnesota https://nolan.house.gov/contact/email-me

Jacky Rosen, 3rd District Nevada https://rosen.house.gov/contact/email

Ruben J. Kihuen, 4th District Nevada https://kihuen.house.gov/contact/

Dina Titus,1st District Nevada https://titus.house.gov/contact/email-me

Carol Shea Porter, 1st District New Hampshire https://shea-porter.house.gov/contact/email

Frank Pallone Jr., 6th District New Jersey https://palloneforms.house.gov/contact/

Donald Payne Jr., 10th District New Jersey https://payne.house.gov/contact/email-me

Donald Norcross,1st District New Jersey https://norcross.house.gov/contact/email-me

Albio Sires, 8th District New Jersey https://sires.house.gov/contact/email

Nydia M. Velaquez, 7th District New York https://velazquez.house.gov/contact/email

Sean Patrick Maloney,18th District New York https://seanmaloney.house.gov/contact/email-me

Kathleen M. Rice, 4th District New York https://kathleenrice.house.gov/contact/

Grace Meng, 6th District New York https://meng.house.gov/contact/email-me

Yvette D. Clarke, 9th District New York https://clarke.house.gov/contact/email/

Jose Serrano, 15th District New York https://serrano.house.gov/contact/email-me

Nita M. Lowey, 17th District New York https://lowey.house.gov/contact/email

Jerry Nadler,10th District New York https://nadler.house.gov/contact-me

Hakeem Jeffries, 8th District New York https://jeffries.house.gov/contact/email-me

Carolyn B. Maloney, 12th District New York https://maloney.house.gov/services/email-me

Adriano Espaillat, 13th District New York https://espaillat.house.gov/contact/email

Brian Higgins, 26th District New York https://higgins.house.gov/contact

Paul D. Tonko, 20th District New York https://tonko.house.gov/contact/

David E. Price, 4th District North Carolina https://priceforms.house.gov/contact/

Suzanne Bonamici, 1st District Oregon https://bonamici.house.gov/contact/email

Earl Blumenauer, 3rd District Oregon https://blumenauerforms.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/

Dwight Evans, 2nd District Pennsylvania https://evans.house.gov/contact

Brendan F. Boyle, 13th District Pennsylvania https://boyle.house.gov/contact

Robert A. Brady,1st District Pennsylvania https://brady.house.gov/contact-me

David N. Cicilline, 1st District Rhode Island https://cicilline.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Marc Veasey, 33rd District Texas https://veasey.house.gov/contact/email-me

Al Green, 9th District Texas https://algreen.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Sheila Jackson Lee, 18th District Texas https://jacksonlee.house.gov/contact/email-me

Lloyd Doggett, 35th District Texas https://doggett.house.gov/contact/email

Peter Welch, At-Large District Vermont https://welch.house.gov/contact/email

A Donald McEachin, 4th District Virginia https://www.donaldmceachin.com/contact/

Donald S. Beyer, 8th District Virginia https://beyer.house.gov/contact/

Denny Heck, 10th District Washington https://dennyheck.house.gov/contact/email-me

Pramila Jayapal, 7th District Washington https://jayapal.house.gov/contact/email

Derek Kilmer, 6th District Washington https://kilmer.house.gov/contact/email-me

Adam Smith, 9th District Washington https://adamsmith.house.gov/contact

Suzan Delbene, 1st District Washington https://delbene.house.gov/contact/

 

 

 

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