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US politician introduces bill to help transgender people at airport screenings

Written by gaytourism

All facets of life should be respectful | Photo: Unsplash/Anete Lūsiņa

United States Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY) introduced a bill to Congress today seeking to improve airport security screenings for transgender people.

The Screening with Dignity Act of 2018 requires new protocols and training for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

There are two main factors of the act.

Within 60 days of the potential enactment of the bill, the TSA must develop ‘procedures to appropriately and respectfully screen self-identified transgender passengers’.

These policies will ‘take into consideration the particular needs of persons whose gender identity is different or is perceived to be different from their assigned sex at birth and the particular impact of screening on transgender passengers as opposed to the general population of passengers’.

Secondly, within 90 days, the TSA must begin in-person training in regards to the new policies.

Current TSA technology identifies all passengers either as ‘male’ or ‘female’. Trans passengenders, therefore, are often marked as ‘anomalies‘.

The bill also requires the TSA to conduct two studies. The first assesses the cost and feasibility for new gender-neutral screening technology. Another study would evaluate the impact of TSA screenings on self-identifying trans and gender-nonconforming people.

They deserve fairness and respect

‘The transgender community deserves to be treated with fairness and respect in all aspects of life, including travel,’ Rice said.

‘Maintaining high safety standards and screening all passengers with dignity should not be mutually exclusive.’

Sarah McBride, national press secretary for HRC, added: “Transgender people should not have to face constant fear of discrimination as we go about our lives, especially in vulnerable spaces like security screenings at the airport. HRC thanks Rep. Kathleen Rice for re-introducing the Screening With Dignity Act today and for standing for the safety and dignity of trans and gender non-conforming people.’

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