UMD LGBTQ Community “Not Surprised” by Trump’s Decision on Transgender Rights

The campus does offer gender inclusive bathrooms and is looking to add more in the future

DULUTH, Minn. – Last year the Obama administration issued a joint guidance, along with the Department of Education, allowing transgender students at public schools to use a restroom that aligns with their gender identity.

At UMD, the LGBTQ services office is reacting to the Trump administration’s latest withdrawal of this federal protection.

Roze Brooks leads the GLBT services on campus and says it’s disappointing to see the progress made by the previous administration come to a halt.

The UMD campus does offer gender inclusive bathrooms and is looking to add more in the future. The school also offers gender inclusive housing and continues to have conversations about policies and protections that should be expanded to accommodate the LGBT community on campus.

Brooks says this issue is not just about bathrooms, but more about equitable accommodations and not allowing discrimination based on gender.

“I’m not stoked, but I’m not surprised,” said Brooks. “I think there was a lot of instinct that eventually there would be a hit towards LGBTQ folk. It happened to be the trans-folk who got the hit this time.”

The original guidance by the Obama administration is still being held up by a federal judge, asking the question if this should be a state decision rather than federal.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton also spoke out today as he wants Minnesota schools to continue to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. Today, Dayton said it’s a human rights issue, not a state one.

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