Trump signs legislation that allows individuals to refuse their state’s driver’s license to transgender individuals, a move that is likely to spark a legal challenge from the Obama administration.
The bill is named after a transgender person who died at age 17 and who sued the state of Florida for refusing to issue her driver’s licenses, The Associated Press reports.
The legislation was signed into law by Trump late Wednesday evening, and it was signed by his attorney general, in an apparent effort to end the litigation.
Trump’s announcement came amid a nationwide debate over whether states should issue drivers’ licenses to individuals whose gender identity does not match their birth certificates, as well as transgender people.
The Trump administration has argued that transgender people should be allowed to use birth certificates and other official documents as they wish, a stance that has caused the Justice Department to challenge the legality of many states’ laws.
Trump has previously defended the law as a necessary safeguard against fraud.
But his move to allow individuals to decline their state-issued driver’s card to transgender Americans is a significant shift in public opinion toward allowing them to use their birth certificate as their identity documents.
Transgender individuals have been in the spotlight during the 2016 election cycle, with some Republican politicians and members of the GOP establishment opposing their right to use public accommodations to legally change their legal gender.
Some have suggested that they should be able to use gender-neutral restrooms, which would be illegal under federal law.
The Associated News’ Eric Tucker contributed to this report.