For transgender community, House pleases where ‘U’ falls short

Jessica Vosgerchian writes in Michigan Daily: The House of Representatives passed a progressive addendum to hate-crime legislation yesterday that the University’s Board of Regents has avoided adding to the University’s own bylaws for years.

By 237 to 180, the House voted to cover crimes spurred by a victim’s “gender, sexual orientation, gender identity” or disability under the hate-crime designation, which currently applies to people who are attacked because of their race, religion, color or national origin.

Despite cries for similar revision from LGBT activists, students and faculty, Regents have refused to add the phrase “gender identity and expression” to the bylaw’s nondiscrimination clause.

Advocates for the addition have said the clause’s language doesn’t clearly extend protection to transgender people, but University administrators held that the word “sex” covers the phrase’s implications in the clause.

The movement on campus quieted down during the last year, but an example from Washington D.C. could incite it again.

Regent Julia Darlow, who was elected to the board last November, said she would support adding “gender identity” to the bylaws.

“I would like to see the University do the same thing and make the meaning crystal clear in the bylaws,” she said.