Minneapolis, MN – In the wake of government plans to revoke Title IX protections and a new Department of Justice statement allowing for discrimination against transgender people, community advocates, allies, and trans people alike are organizing rallies across the United States. In Minneapolis, on Sunday, October 28, organizers have called for people to create a line of human bodies from Minneapolis to St. Paul to show solidarity for trans rights. Unicorn Riot was live documenting this event.
Unicorn Riot was live at the #WeWontBeErased protest in #Minneapolis, a trans visibility event protesting rollbacks against trans rights by the #Trump administration. https://t.co/6o4x9qdYTk pic.twitter.com/WHWL1AVdVV
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) October 28, 2018
On October 24, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) told the Supreme Court that it is not a violation of federal civil rights laws for businesses to discriminate against workers based on their sex or gender identity. The official statement made by the DOJ’s Solicitor General, Noel Francisco, comes after a lower court had already given its ruling in a previous case where a transgender employee was found to have had their rights violated after being fired based on their gender identity.
The statement is received by the heavily conservative Supreme Court as they choose whether to take the appeal case of a Michigan funeral home that fired a transgender employee, thereby deciding if the 1964 Civil Rights Act covers transgender people.
Recent blowback against trans rights has come as the Trump administration and conservative lawmakers are rolling back many advances in LGBTQ+ rights in recent years. The Department of Health and Human Services is said to be pushing to revoke protections created from Title IX, federal civil rights law banning gender discrimination in education programs, by establishing a legal definition of sex.
“These proposed definitions are not only problematic in regards to the 1.4 million Americans identifying as transgender, or a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth, but is also problematic in regards to Americans who are intersex, or were born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals outside of what is typically seen as male and female. Genetic testing is a costly, unreliable method of determining one’s sex assigned at birth and if the federal government were to depend on it to execute laws and policies, it would physically invade the bodies of its citizens.” – Andrew Weston, Oct. 26, 2018 press release for event
Organizers for the ‘We Won’t Be Erased MN – Mpls-StP’ event state there plan to show solidarity with trans visibility by lining up thousands of people along Lake St. in South Minneapolis and attempting a human line all the way to St. Paul.
“This visibility event is a demonstration of solidarity with and within the transgender, intersex, and gender-expansive community, affirming their rights and civil liberties. This action follows community responses nationwide saying that our bodies “#WontBeErased.” Transgender, intersex, and gender-expansive Minnesotans will not be complicit in our own dehumanization. We cannot change what the Trump Administration does, but we can choose to respond with solidarity and love. We exist and we demand to be seen. ” – Andrew Weston, Oct. 26, 2018 press release for event