President Trump changed guidelines for how transgender prison inmates are housed on Friday.
The Obama administration had originally altered the guidelines in 2012 to allow transgender inmates to choose where they are housed based on which gender they identify with.
The Trump admin has rolled back Obama-era rules that allowed transgender inmates to use facilities that match their gender identity, including cell blocks and bathrooms, BuzzFeed reports. https://t.co/isN7n9Jflv
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 11, 2018
The president’s most recent change means those inmates will initially be housed based solely based on their “biological sex,” which was announced by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
It should also be noted that the change in guidelines does not suggest that transgender individuals will be forced to stay in prisons that do not align with the gender they identify with long term.
The move is a result of a federal lawsuit filed by four women who were being held at a Texas detention center. The inmates argued that, by allowing people to choose which prison they want to be housed in, they are put at a greater risk of getting sexually assaulted because they might have to share spaces with people who identify as women.
Transgender advocacy groups are furious about the policy change.
“The decision to disregard a transgender person’s gender identity is harmful and disrespectful,” David Stacy, government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.
This is not the first time the Trump administration has created policy specifically about transgender individuals. Last July, the president tweeted that the United States military would no longer be accepting transgender people.