Statement of Equality Pennsylvania on the University of Pittsburgh’s
Non-Discrimination Policy for the Transgender Community and the Need for Calm
Harrisburg – Over the past several weeks, Equality Pennsylvania has been very carefully monitoring and watching the situation surrounding the University of Pittsburgh’s non-discrimination policy and how it impacts the transgender community. We have spoken with quite a few people on what is happening, and among them we have discussed ways to find solutions.
Equality Pennsylvania recognizes that this is serious and sensitive and we have tried to take our time to fully understand all aspects of what is happening. We believe firmly that the groundwork and willingness is there to find a workable policy on bath and locker room usage for the transgender community. That remains our hope and we stand ready to be of help in whatever way that works.
Today we publicly call on the Administration of the University, the University Senate, the Staff Association Council, students, staff and faculty to work with each other as well as the transgender community to create a comprehensive transgender policy consistent with the school’s stated non-discrimination policy. Equality Pennsylvania will do what is necessary to speed along this process.
Like many people, we were also deeply troubled by the announcement that a transgender couple was being questioned as part of a larger investigation into a series of bomb-threats currently plaguing the University. Obviously, we are carefully watching the treatment that they receive and hope firmly that they are found to be innocent and that their status as transgender will not be used in any way to deny them fair consideration. This would be awful to say the least.
In light of both events developing simultaneously, Equality Pennsylvania also calls for calm, respect and a clear commitment to making sure that both the policy and the investigation are handled separately and that one does not damage or hurt the prospects of the other. In truth, they are two separate situations and we ask that they be treated as such. We also ask the University to move forward to find a sensible policy on non-discrimination AND we respectfully urge police investigators to stick to the facts of the case and pursue an investigation that is fair and careful. Thoughtful people can carry out both tasks. This is our hope and our demand.