AVP Action Brief Department of Justice Signals a Step Back on Transgender Rights; #STANDWITHGAVIN; #NOBANNOWALLNORAIDS

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

Department of Justice signals a step back on transgender rights

One day after Senator Jeff Sessions was sworn in as Attorney General, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a brief signaling a step backward in their support of rights and protections for transgender students. At issue is the guidance that the DOJ and Department of Education (DOE) issued under President Obama, which interpreted sex under Title IX to include gender identity. This extended Title IX’s non-discrimination protections to include transgender and gender nonconforming students.

In August 2016, the state of Texas sued the DOJ and DOE challenging this guidance, and a Texas judge filed an injunction saying that the Obama administration’s guidance would be put on hold nationally. In November of 2016, before President Trump took office, the DOJ and DOE requested a stay of the injunction, asking that the injunction only extend to Texas and the 11 other states that joined the lawsuit, rather than to the whole nation. On Friday, the DOJ filed a brief withdrawing the request for the stay and cancelling  the scheduled oral argument in order to plan the DOJ’s next steps in this case. Whatever these next steps are, we have serious concerns that they will not be friendly toward transgender students. AVP will be closely monitoring the DOJ’s actions and we call on all of us to stand in support of our transgender and gender nonconforming community members.


The effort to create safe and supportive education environments for transgender students still advances along a number of other channels. On March 17, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old transgender teen from Virginia who has been locked in a long legal battle with his local school board over his right to use the bathroom that matches his gender. Last night, artist and activist Laverne Cox used the stage of the Grammy awards to draw attention to Gavin’s historic case.


Over the weekend, AVP learned that ICE arrested nearly 40 people in the New York area as part of a targeted enforcement operation. ICE operations have been confirmed in five other states. AVP stands with our immigrant community members. We will not back down and we will resist with you.

In these times, accurate information is crucial to curb fears and rumors. We’re following the work of the New York Immigration Coalition to stay up to date, and we suggest you do too. Learn your rights at ACLU; if you need emergency information or an attorney, call the Legal Aid hotline at 844 955 3425.

  • Support immigrants by showing up to the New York Immigration Coalition rally tomorrow at Foley Square at 6PM.
  • Show your support for Gavin Grimm online using the #IStandWithGavin. Educate your friends and communities about this important case.
  • Call your senator at (877) 959-6082 and voice your support for federal LGBTQ protections and funding for those protections
  • AVP is OPEN on February 17th so that you can join the GENERAL STRIKE! RSVP here and join us 10 am to 2 pm that day for legal intakes, volunteer opportunities, letter writing to elected officials, and more!
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Report LGBTQ or HIV-related violence that you experience or witness online or to AVP’s 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:
BuzzFeed: The Justice Department Is Taking A Step Back From Efforts To Protect Transgender People Under Existing Law

Washington Blade: DOJ nixes request to halt order against trans student protections

NBC OUT: Gavin Grimm: Meet the Boy Laverne Cox Shouted Out at the Grammys