Transgender Civil Rights Project

The Transgender Civil Rights Project provides legislative, policy and strategy assistance, including evaluation of legislative and policy language, to activists and organizations working to pass trans-inclusive or transgender-friendly laws and policies. Although the primary work of the Project centers on nondiscrimination laws and policies, the project can provide assistance to policymakers and activists working to pass any legislation or policies regarding transgender equality. The project's primary goal is to increase the number of state, local and federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression. Prohibiting discrimination based on "gender identity or expression" ensures that the entire range of transgender and gender non-conforming people are protected.

Passing State and Local Laws and Policies

The Task Force provides legislative/policy and strategy assistance to activists and organizations working to pass trans-inclusive anti-discrimination laws or policies, whether the topic is discrimination, hate crimes, safe schools or other areas of concern. Frequently, local and state activists lack information on how to draft and pass transgender-inclusive legislation and policy. The Project can provide valuable assistance throughout the entire legislative or policymaking process. Because each effort is different, the Task Force tailors the assistance we provide to the particular needs and circumstances of your state or locality or organization. The Task Force can help by:

  • Drafting talking points and educational materials for the public, policymakers, and legislators about discrimination against transgender people.
  • Evaluating and drafting clear and effective legislative or policy language and amendments.
  • Addressing legal questions or concerns from legislators or councilpersons and other policymakers.
  • Providing advice on negotiating the political landscape: from forming and maintaining political coalitions, to identifying what type of legislation and policies will be most successful, and what legislative and policymaking bodies will be most receptive.
  • Providing media and organizing assistance.

Enforcing Discrimination Laws and Policies

The Transgender Civil Rights Project assists government agencies and any entity attempting to enforce, implement, or understand nondiscrimination protections that exist for transgender people. The Project has assisted many jurisdictions with developing internal and external compliance guidelines and policies to ensure that transgender people are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner. The Project also provides training for enforcement staff of human rights commission agencies.

Working for Trans-Inclusive Federal Legislation

The Task Force works in coalition with other groups devoted to ensuring transgender equality. A primary goal is to educate members of Congress about discrimination against transgender people in order to lay the foundation for a transgender-inclusive anti-discrimination legislation. The Task Force also works for transgender-inclusive hate crimes legislation at the federal level.

Accomplishments of the Transgender Civil Rights Project

Worked with activists in 32 states to help pass a local or state law, including providing legislative language or legal analysis of legislative language.

  • Collaborated with over 100 local, state or national organizations.
  • Published Transitioning Our Shelters: A Guide to Making Homeless Shelters Safe for Transgender People.
  • Assisted activists in numerous college campuses with enacting transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination policies.
  • Assisted activists at numerous corporations to add "gender identity or expression" to nondiscrimination policies.
  • Worked for transgender-inclusion in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and explicit inclusion in the federal hate crimes bill.
  • Provided training to activists on how to pass a transgender-inclusive law, including how to effectively lobby and testify on these issues.

Contacting the Transgender Civil Rights Project

For the novice or the most experienced, the Task Force's Transgender Civil Rights Project is available to provide technical assistance to activists, legislators, policymakers and others who are working on establishing or enforcing policies and laws to create equality for transgender people. To contact Lisa Mottet, the legislative lawyer for the Transgender Civil Rights Project, e-mail lmottet@theTaskForce.org or call 202. 639.6308.

The Task Force has produced various publications and fact sheets on transgender-specific topics, available on in our reports section.