HRC Blog

Louisiana University Asks Students to Vote on Transphobic Referendum

Xavier University of Louisiana—a historically Black, Catholic university in News Orleans—is allowing students to vote on an institutional constitutional amendment which would decide whether “candidates for Miss Xavier/Class Miss must be a) female b) born female."

The same question was asked regarding Mr Xavier/Class Mister.

The amendment—Question 17—violates the basic human rights of transgender students by asking students to vote on the legitimacy of transgender students' gender identity and questioning their fitness for office. L’lerrét Alitith—an out transgender student at the university and a member of the HRC HBCU Leadership and Career Summit— brought the amendment to the HRC's attention after feeling targeted by the referendum.

HRC is working with L’lerrét to ask the university to rescind the question and to engage in campus dialog around the need to support all students, including transgender students.

"This policy is harmful and detrimental to L’lerret and other transgender students at Xavier," said Sultan Shakir, director of HRC's Youth and Campus Engagement program. "Transgender students deserve to live authentically and safely without the fear of being penalized and excluded from student life because of who they are.  It is imperative that the university administration immediately nullify the amendment question and implement a non-discrimination policy on the campus."

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