Conservatives have been horrified at the fluid idea of gender identity that is increasingly recognised by the American authorities.
For the a year ago, the Department of Health and Human Services has privately argued that the term "sex" was never meant to include gender identity or even homosexuality, and that the lack of clarity allowed the Obama administration to wrongfully extend civil rights protections to people who should not have them.
According to the memo seen by the NYT, the HHS proposes that "Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth".
Since being appointed the American President, Donald Trump and his administration have been working towards changing the dynamics of contemporary American life. I want to protect our country. The agencies would consider the comments before issuing final rules with the force of law - both of which could include the new gender definition. Title IX is the federal law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance.
Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights at the department, declined to answer detailed questions about the memo or his role in inter-agency discussions about how to revise the definition of sex under Title IX. But HHS officials said they were following a ruling by a Texas US district judge as a guide to transgender policy.
The timing of the report suggests transgender rights will be a Democratic campaign hot button before the November midterms. The Obama administration generally took the position that discrimination against transgender people should be considered a form of prohibited sex discrimination.
"What they are saying is you do not get to decide your sex; it is the government that will decide your sex", said Samuels. The administration has also prohibited officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using the word "transgender" in official budget documents, as The Washington Post reported in December, and HHS has archived a page that outlined services available for LGBT people.
National LGBTQ advocacy groups quickly mobilized in light of the news, organizing a rally for trans rights in New York City late Sunday evening and a protest in front of the White House set for Monday afternoon.
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a lawyer with Lambda Legal, said the proposed rule change appears to still be undergoing White House review.