WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice has altered a policy under the Obama administration that allowed inmates sentenced to federal prison to be incarcerated in accordance with their gender identity, to now direct officials to “use biological sex as the initial determination for designation” and to permit placement by gender identity “only in rare cases.”
A new Transgender Offender Manual issued on Friday by the Department places emphasis on maintaining safety and good order within federal prisons, and provides guidance to the Transgender Executive Council (TEC) as to how to analyze each case.
“The TEC will use biological sex as the initial determination for designation,” the document reads. “The TEC will consider the health and safety of the transgender inmate, exploring appropriate options available to assist with mitigating risk to the transgender offender, to include but not limited to cell and/or unit assignments…”
Factors to be analyzed include behavioral history, demeanor and the likely interaction with other inmates, as well as whether the placement would pose a problem to others, such as whether another inmate has privacy concerns or has a history of being traumatized.
“The designation to a facility of the inmate’s identified gender would be appropriate only in rare cases after consideration of all of the above factors and where there has been significant progress towards transition, as demonstrated by medical and mental health history,” the manual outlines.
According to reports, the changes come as a result of a lawsuit filed in 2016 by four women who contended that the “placement of transgender inmates in women’s facilities violate[d] their constitutional rights and their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
“Blending of the sexes in the confined and restricted conditions attendant to prisons violates the privacy of female inmates and causes numerous dangers and threats to the physical and mental health and safety of our female Plaintiffs,” the legal challenge stated, according to NBC News.
“The basis for the recent changes to rules and regulations is a politically-driven agenda to affirm that gender identity theory, rather than biological sex, is the normative basis to determine whether an inmate is male or female,” it said in regard to the Obama administration’s allowances at that time.
However, transgender advocacy groups are now decrying the Trump administration’s consequent rollback, opining that it is disrespectful and dangerous to those with gender dysphoria.
“The Obama Administration put this guidance into place after an extensive review to develop workable and reasonable procedures that would protect some of the most vulnerable people in our prison system,” David Stacy of the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement.
“The decision to disregard a transgender person’s gender identity is harmful and disrespectful. This unconscionable decision ignores medical expertise and defies common sense. Transgender people under the control of the Bureau of Prisons will face greater risk of violence and discrimination,” he asserted.
As previously reported, Christians believe that all men are born with the Adamic sin nature, and have inherent inclinations that are contrary to the law of God, being utterly incapable of helping themselves. It is why Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7 that men must be regenerated by the second birth.
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” he declared. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
2 Corinthians 5:15-17 also teaches, “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. … Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”