In a policy shift LGBTQ rights groups denounced as “a deliberate recipe for violence against transgender people,” the Trump administration on Friday rolled back rules allowing transgender inmates to use facilities that match their gender identity and instructed federal officials to use “biological sex” in determining housing assignments.

“This administration seems to be using every opportunity to roll back progress for transgender people.”
—Vanita Gupta, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

“The extreme rates of physical and sexual violence faced by transgender people in our nation’s prisons is a stain on the entire criminal justice system,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement responding to the Trump administration’s move. “Instead of leaving the existing policy alone, the administration is clearly prepared to encourage federal prisons to violate federal law and advance its own inhumane agenda.”

According to Buzzfeed, which first reported the rule rollback on Friday, the White House’s policy shift “comes after four evangelical Christian women in a Texas prison sued in U.S. District Court to challenge the Obama-era guidelines,” asserting that sharing facilities with transgender women put them in danger.

The Trump administration appears to have accepted this claim wholesale.

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