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Middlebury Statement on Transgender

October 29, 2018

President Laurie Patton and Chief Diversity Officer Miguel Fernández emailed the following statement to the Middlebury community on Friday, October 26.

You may have heard this week that, according to the New York Times, the Department of Health and Human Services is proposing to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance. The proposal calls for narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth. Many see this as a way of the government eradicating federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify as a gender other than the one they were born into.

We write to assure you that any change to the national policy will have no effect on Middlebury’s policies or procedures. Middlebury prohibits discrimination in employment (or in admission or access to its educational or extracurricular programs, activities, or facilities) based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, among many other forms of identity. Furthermore, it is unlawful in Vermont for an employer to discriminate because of a person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, disability or age.

At Middlebury, we remain committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment where bigotry and intolerance are unacceptable. We will continue to offer the highest levels of support for our transgender and gender-non-conforming colleagues and students in the face of challenges ahead.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to a vibrant community that welcomes and affirms all of its members.



Laurie Patton

Miguel Fernández
Chief Diversity Officer