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Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals joins 24 national organizations on letter asking Common Application to include questions on gender identity and sexual orientation on college admission standard form 


August 5, 2015


New York, N.Y. – The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals has joined with other organizations requesting the addition of optional demographic questions related to gender identity and sexual orientation to the Common Application. A full copy of the letter sent via electronic communication, and the full list of the 24 National Organizations who have signed onto the letter,  is available online at:

The Common Application form evaluates prospective students for admission at over 500 colleges, universities and other organizations in 47 states and the District of Columbia and internationally. A growing numberof colleges and universities are asking students their gender identity and sexual orientation on admissions forms, either by having questions on their own application materials or by adding supplemental questions to their Common Application.

Institutions with gender identity and sexual orientation identity questions on their applications include Duke University, Elmhurst College, Elon University, MIT, Northeastern Illinois University, the Ohio State University, Purdue University, the University of Iowa, the University of Maryland, Connecticut College, the University of California system and all two-year colleges in California and Washington.

In 2011, The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals and Campus Pride requested that changes to the Common Application include optional questions on gender identity and sexual orientation. The request was denied.

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Transgender Rights Toolkit - Joint Document with Lambda Legal

Contact: Matt Bruno & D.A. Dirks, Co-Chairs,

“Everyone deserves to receive an education free from harassment, discrimination and violence. Yet these problems commonly plague transgender students pursuing a university degree, sometimes even before they set foot on campus,” therefore the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, in collaboration with Lambda Legal, announces the publication of the Transgender Rights Toolkit: A Legal Guide for Trans People and Their Advocates available at:

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Erasure of Student Mural at Marquette University

The Consortium was disappointed to learn of the dismissal of Susannah Bartlow, our colleague at the Marquette University Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, and the related erasure of a student-created mural at the Resource Center. We are particularly concerned about the message sent by Bartlow’s dismissal and its impact on students at Marquette. In late May, Marquette officials learned of the existence of this mural and removed both the mural and Bartlow from campus. The mural was painted by students on one wall of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center in March of 2015. Students, including members of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (a historically Black Greek Letter Organization), intentionally chose Assata Shakur as a subject for the mural in order to highlight the life of an activist Black woman.

By erasing the mural, Marquette officials are erasing an opportunity for Black women to feel represented on campus. Shakur is a controversial figure because of her alleged involvement in a number of violent acts, including murdering a state trooper in 1977, and later escaping from prison in 1979. At the same time, Shakur is also an author, an activist, and a scholar. Her philosophy and actions continue to shape higher education through inclusion in many academic courses, particularly in the realm of Critical Race Theory.  For example, a student group at the City University of New York (which Shakur attended) is currently Her legacy is one that deserves discussion, debate, and academic inquiry, rather than censorship. 

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NPR Press Release: HB 218-Georgia's "Religious Freedom" 

February 18, 2015
The Honorable Nathan Deal, Governor
The Honorable David Schafer, Senate President Pro Tempore
The Honorable David Rolston, Speaker of the House
Georgia State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Dear Governor Deal, President Pro Tempore Shafer, and Speaker Rolston:
As leaders of organizations committed to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, we are writing to express our serious concerns about Georgia House Bill 218, the “Preventing Government Overreach on Religious Expression Act.” As drafted, this legislation invites and legitimizes further discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Last year, legislation similar to HB 218 passed the Arizona legislature but was vetoed by former Governor Jan Brewer following an outcry from businesses, sports organizations, and LGBT advocates. At the heart of this outcry was a simple message: Arizona should be open and welcoming to all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The passage of HB 218 or a similar measure will send a loud message across the country that Georgia is an unwelcoming place for LGBT Americans. Such a message threatens the state’s ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest workers, secure corporate relocations that spur the economy, support innovative entrepreneurship, and further develop its thriving travel and tourism industry. All of us have organizational members in Georgia; like them, we want Georgia’s brand to remain welcoming to all.
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