In Support of Transgender Members of the Haverford Community
A message from President Benston.
Recent reports from Washington indicate that the Trump Administration is considering writing new policy guidance on sexual identity for agencies charged with enforcing federal civil rights law. This guidance is expected to define "sex" as a "person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth" (Department of Human Health and Human Services memo, per The New York Times). Such a definition would severely curtail or suppress legal protections and the right of redress for students and others who identify as transgender/non-binary/gender non-conforming people.
Should these recommendations be adopted by federal agencies, they would harm millions of people and flout a number of rulings by federal courts. Legal resistance would doubtless be exerted by many individuals and institutions; however, in advance of such actions and responses, I want to assure the College community in the strongest possible terms that no government action can erase the identity of our trans* members, nor can it dull or deflect our commitment to ensuring their safety, rights, and dignity in the Haverford community. We will remain true to the core values expressed in our stated policies against harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct, and will continue our efforts to shape a fully inclusive culture based on equity and respect for all.