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Ivy Leaguers Fight ROTC for Trans Rights

Ivy Leaguers Fight ROTC for Trans Rights


Students at Stanford and Harvard are taking a stand to keep the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) away from their campuses until the military is completely inclusive and allows transgender people to join its ranks.

Alok Vaid-Menon, President of Stanford Students for Queer Liberation, said in a statement, that now was the time to make such demands, as the U.S. military prepares to repeal the ban on openly gay and lesbian troops.

"A re-introduction of ROTC on college campuses (including Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia) that include 'gender identity' in their non-discrimination clause is a fundamental violation of policy and an endorsement of discrimination," Vaid-Menon said.

The group from Stanford and the Harvard Transgender Task Force wrote a joint statement to their college administrators asking them to consider not being so fast to welcome the ROTC back after a moratorium during the enforcement of "don't ask, don't tell."

The Transgender American Veterans Association released a statement Tuesday in support of the students' efforts.

"Allowing military recruiters and ROTC programs back on university and college campuses would not further equality under the law," the statement read. "This is because that along with sexual orientation, most universities and colleges have non-discrimination policies that include gender Identity and/or gender expression. Allowing ROTC programs back on university and college campuses before allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military services would violate the intent of antidiscrimination policies these universities and colleges currently have in place to protect transgender people from discrimination.

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