Students At Connecticut Public Colleges And Universities Can Now Use The Locker Room Of Their Choice

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Students at all state colleges and universities in the Nutmeg State will now be allowed to use the bathrooms and changing rooms that correspond with their chosen gender identity, and not their biological sex, the Connecticut Board of Regents announced this week.

According to a board memo, the group also enacted a statute giving students the option to “identify themselves by their preferred first name, including on student ID cards,” and not their given names.

The memo outlining locker room and bathroom policies states that “requiring a transgender or gender non-conforming person to use a separate, non-integrated space, potentially identifies that person as well as potentially marginalizes a person.”

“Such treatment fails to recognize that restroom and locker room facilities on the campuses [are] public accommodations and that denial of access may result in the deprivation of an equal educational or employment environment,” the memo adds.

The state’s 17 campuses, according to the new policy, “may maintain separate locker room facilities for males and females provided that they allow individuals to access them based on their gender identity and not exclusively based on their assigned birth sex.”

“In locker rooms where undressing occurs in the presence of others, a private option should be provided to any person if requested.”

Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities umbrella, told the Hartford Courant that the new policies “are aligned with our core values and our history as an institution.”

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy in a prepared statement applauding the announcement said that “discrimination, harassment and bullying have no place in our classrooms or at our school.”

Earlier this year Ojakian released a statement to administrators at the state’s 17 public colleges and universities denouncing President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind former President Barack Obama’s Title IX guidance related to transgender public accommodations, essentially relegating authority back to the states.

“Fortunately, we live in a state with a history of implementing inclusive policies and one that is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all students and their families,” Ojakian said at the time.

The new policy was announced just as Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill outlawing conversion therapy, a term used to describe the psychological treatment used to change a person’s sexual orientation.