Regents make statement against transgender discrimination

5:38 AM, Jun 25, 2010   |    comments
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"I believe it starts with language and if our university sends a message from the top - discrimination is not OK," said Montague-Asp, co-chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender Student Advisory Board.

Current school policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, but Montague-Asp says that is not enough.

"Transgender has nothing to do with sexual orientation," Montague-Asp said. "Our main focus is that gender expression and gender identity are completely different subjects from sexual orientation and therefore should be defined separately."

Several students and staff members spokes to the CU Board of Regents outlining incidents of discrimination on campus.

"I certainly would be in front of the line to act to protect somebody from discrimination," CU Regent Jim Geddes said. "But, I have a couple concerns."

Geddes says he is not sure if the University of Colorado system should have a different definition than what is already covered by state law. Under state law, transgender individuals are protected from discrimination under the umbrella of "sexual orientation."

Regent Michael Carrigan proposed the board pass a strong resolution instead of amending school policy.

"So, we do not need to amend our non-discrimination policy to make that illegal," Carrigan said. "That is the law to date."

The board passed a resolution sending a message to its campuses and the community against the discrimination of all people, including transgender people.

Montague-Asp says 293 other colleges nationwide have made similar amendments to their policies, but she says Thursday's vote was a good start.

"We're very excited and we believe that it's a great first stepping stone in the process of making an actual amendment to Regent Article 10," Montague-Asp said. "We're very, very excited and very thankful of the board."

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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