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DOJ Warns State Attorneys General That Anti-Trans Bills Violate Federal Law

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Department of Justice (DOJ) has warned states that laws and other restrictions that seek to discriminate against transgender people may be in violation of federal law.The DOJ cautioned that "intentionally erecting discriminatory barriers" against transgender Americans could be at odds with federal protections in a letter sent to all of the nation's state attorneys general on Thursday.

The letter, signed by Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, came amid a wave of actions aimed at banning transgender women and girls from participating in sports and transgender children from accessing medical treatment."The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that all children are able to live free from discrimination, abuse and harassment," Clarke said in a statement. "Today's letter reaffirms state and local officials' obligation to ensure that their laws and policies do not undermine or harm the health and safety of children, regardless of a child's gender identity."The letter warned the attorneys general that laws and policies preventing "parents or guardians from following the advice of a healthcare professional" on appropriate medical care for transgender minors could be at odds with the equal protection and the due process clauses of the U.S.

Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment.A provision of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination was also cited in the letter, as were protections in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.Over 130 anti-trans bills have been proposed by more than half of the states this year, according to the bipartisan pro-LGBTQ group Freedom for All.

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