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AG Madigan To Trump: Stop Plans To Exclude Transgender People From Federal Protections

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined a group of 20 state attorneys general urging the Trump Administration to stop plans to approve a definition of "sex."

The move would exclude those who are transgender and gender nonconforming from protections of federal civil rights laws.

"Civil rights laws are crucial to ensuring access to healthcare and education and the administration should abandon this effort to discriminate against transgender individuals," Madigan said.

It was reported in October that officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were contemplating the idea to allow a definition of sex "as an immutable, binary biological trait determined by or before birth—and that the Department was urging other agencies, including the Department of Education, to do the same."

In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Madigan and the others attorneys general wrote "despite clear evidence of the serious harms that discrimination continues to inflict on the transgender community, the Administration seems intent not only on rolling back existing federal civil rights protections for this vulnerable population, but also denying transgender people even basic recognition."

Along with Madigan in sending the letter were the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

According to the Williams Institute there are approximately 1.4 million people who identify as transgender in the United States.

In Illinois, it's approximately 50,000 people.

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