To honor the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put out a statement raising awareness about the violence carried out against trans people, particularly by “government officials, undermining the rule of law.” Apparently, Tillerson does not remember who his boss is.
“On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, the United States remains committed to advancing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons,” Tillerson said in the statement. “These principles are inherent in our our Constitution and drive the diplomacy of the United States.”
It’s a nice sentiment coming from the State Department, which is just one part of the administration that’s been attacking the hard-won rights of trans people almost since Donald Trump’s first day in office.
Many of the administration’s anti-LGBTQ policies have come from Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department, which rolled back the Obama-era guidelines that public schools allow trans kids to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity while in school. High priority stuff!
That was only the beginning. Since then, the DOJ rolled back protections for trans people against workplace discrimination, filed a brief stating that the 1964 Civil Rights Act doesn’t extend to trans people, and gave up the previous administration’s fight against anti-trans legislation in North Carolina. Oh, and the president announced on Twitter that he would ban trans people from serving in the military “in any capacity.”
The land of the free and the home of the brave, everyone. But at least the trans community—which has already endured a year in which record numbers of trans people have been murdered—gets the benefit of Tillerson’s weak lip service, even as the administration wages war on LGBTQ rights.