Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 22, 2018

Contact:  Kierán Suckling, (520) 275-5960 or

Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Reported Trump Memo Targeting Transgender People

TUCSON, Ariz.— Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director Kierán Suckling released the following statement in response to a New York Times report, published Sunday, that a memo is circulating within the Trump administration proposing to define gender as an “immutable biological condition determined by a person’s sex organs at birth”:

“The Center for Biological Diversity condemns Trump’s vicious, politically motivated attempt to erase transgender people and their civil rights from American society. We stand with trans and non-binary people and will fight for their rights, safety and freedom. Transgender people are already extremely vulnerable to murder, rape, assault, bigotry, job loss and poverty. Trump’s attack on them to rev up his base for the coming election is disgusting, cynical and heartless.

Trans identity is not new, political, abnormal or perverse. It is a universal, minority part of human culture and biology, recognized by all cultures at all times in recorded human history. Here in North America, 155 indigenous tribes recognized three or four genders. Today some refer to trans people as ‘two spirits.’ 

Mixed, fluid and non-binary genders also occur throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. There is simply no cultural or biological basis for recognizing only two genders.

Cultural and biological diversity are intimately related and under assault by the same forces of oppression, erasure and homogenization. Until everyone is treated with respect and dignity, none of us is truly free.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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