Northwestern University has reassured its LGBTQ community members that it will follow the policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
The University issued the statement while reacting to the U.S. President Donald Trump’s plans of redefining gender.
According to a New York Times report, the Trump administration is in middle of making changes to the definition of gender to be determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The move can have a drastic impact on federal protections offered to transgender people.
While voicing concerns over the change in gender federal civil-rights laws, the university promised its community members to maintain its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“Northwestern University emphatically affirms and respects transgender and non-binary identities. But it goes beyond that. This University will protect members of our community with such identities to the fullest extent possible,” university president Morton Schapiro said.
“We will not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of the community against any other on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This is non-negotiable for us, and is absolutely foundational to who we are as an inclusive University community.”
This fall, the university this announced GenderQueer/Non-Binary/Transgender (GQNBT) Support Task Force which includes students, faculty, staff, and alumni, to identify the ways and means through which more support could be extended to LGTBQ students, faculty and staff.
“The Obama Administration guidance provided that schools should allow trans* students to participate in activities and access facilities, including bathrooms, consistent with their gender identity,” Sarah Wake, associate vice president for equity, said.
“I want to reassure members of our community, especially those who are trans* and gender non-conforming, that our support for them remainsstrong and that Northwestern does not plan to change our current procedures orpractices as a result of this recent action,” Wake added.