Lambda United says FAU anti-discrimination policy should include gender identity


Char Pratt

FAU student Daniela Feriozzi encourages students to attend the rally at the Traditions Plaza on the Boca campus. Photo by Charles Pratt.

Mailyn Abreu

FAU student Daniela Feriozzi encourages students to attend the rally at the Traditions Plaza on the Boca campus. Photo by Charles Pratt.

A LGBTQA club wants more protection for boys who identify as girls, girls who identify as boys, boys who identify as boys, girls who identify as girls and those who identify as neither.

Lambda United held their “I’m Here Too” Rally on Nov. 14 at Traditions Plaza, and – along with Student Government officials – argued both sexual orientation and gender identity ought to be in FAU’s anti-discrimination policy.

On Nov. 16, the university’s Board of Trustees will vote on adding sexual orientation to the policy, but not gender identity.

If the BOT adds sexual orientation to the policy, then gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals would be protected – but not people who see themselves as the opposite sex or neither sex, according to LU Publicity Chair Joshua Murphy.

“Gender identity is how a person sees themselves and express themselves,” he said. “It all depends on the person. It’s basically whether you’re straight, attracted to the same sex or neither – which is people who choose not to have labels.”

FAU is one of two state universities in Florida without sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination policy – the other is FAMU. According to LU, the anti-discrimination policies of Florida State University, New College of Florida, The University of Central Florida and The University of Florida, include both gender identity and sexual orientation.

“Sexual orientation and gender identity need to be on the bill so that if members of the LGBTQA community were hurt by a hate crime, they would be able to sue and be accountable in the school – not just the county,” said Murphy, “Also, LGBTQA students could be kicked out and faculty could be fired because of discrimination if they aren’t protected by FAU law [sic].”

LU President Frank Gorritz told the UP, “Regardless of who you are, you should be protected in school. People are always getting hurt not only because they are gay or lesbian, but even if they are perceived that way.”

Boris Bastidas, the Boca campus’ Speaker of the House, is confident the BOT will vote to include sexual orientation as a protected class at FAU.

“After hearing the students’ voice, I feel confident that sexual orientation will be included, but we know that gender identity will not be in,” he said. “Sexual orientation has been discussed since 2009 and we hope it doesn’t take long to include gender identity. We just have to keep bringing it to the light.”