Metro Weekly

Vermont Governor praises Obama administration for trans student guidelines

Gov. Peter Shumlin affirms that "no student should ever feel discriminated against"

Gov. Peter Shumlin, Credit: Community College of Vermont / Wiki Commons

Gov. Peter Shumlin, Credit: Community College of Vermont / Wiki Commons

“I want to thank President Obama for taking this step as schools around the country and in Vermont work to protect the civil rights of transgender students.”

–Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), in a statement. Shumlin praised the Obama administration for issuing guidance to ensure that transgender students are treated fairly and equally, in accordance with their gender identity.

“No student should ever feel discriminated against while at school for any reason,” Shumlin said, “not because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

“This federal guidance clarifies federal law and is consistent with Vermont’s non-discrimination law, which explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in all public accommodations.

“As other states take steps that open the door to discrimination, I am proud to live in a state like Vermont that has such a long, proud history of protecting the civil rights of all who live here.”

Vermont has numerous protections in place for its LGBT citizens, with state law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and other areas. Same-sex marriage was approved in Vermont back in 2009. Conversion (or ex-gay) therapy is banned, and transgender Vermonters are allowed to change the sex on their birth-certificate and other state documents without requiring gender confirmation surgery.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.