On August 25, 2017, President Trump signed a directive that bans openly transgender and non-binary individuals from serving in the armed forces, and prevents the Department of Defense from providing funding to individuals for necessary gender-affirming medical care. This, along with the Solomon Amendment, ensures that JAG offices have unrestricted access to campus. Although 12% of Harvard University funding is federally sourced, that money is being accepted at the expense of the transgender and non-binary community. This exchange implies that the lives of those individuals are worth less than the other research that Harvard University is conducting, and is deeply hurtful to transgender and non-binary students at the law school, and their allies.
This also isn't the first time the law school administration has allowed the JAG Corps to recruit on campus despite explicitly discriminating in its hiring policies. Until September 20, 2011, the United States banned openly gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, and queer individuals from serving in the armed forces under Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Students on campus have openly opposed this measure in the past. Transgender individuals are twice as likely to serve in the military. While in service, transgender individuals have faced multiple forms of discrimination and abuse. The transgender community experiences oppression in various forms simply by existing. Harvard Law School, as a world-class institution with national and international reach, is obligated to support its transgender and gender non-conforming community in the face of such explicit gender discrimination.
Your voice matters. Do not stand idly by as these policies exclude members of the HLS community. Please support Lambda and Queer and Trans People of Color as we call for increased support and awareness for issues affecting the transgender and gender non-conforming community.
SUPPORT THE CREATION OF AN LGBTQ LEGAL CLINIC: Harvard Law School touts the most clinical opportunities of any law school in the world, but has yet to create a clinic to focus on the legal issues of the LGBTQ community, particularly those who are low-income, disabled, or people of color. As HLS prepares to develop a brand-new clinical building to house future programs, we seek a clinic with a dedicated staff to teach and train future lawyers on issues affecting LGBTQ individuals.
DONATE TO SPART*A: A group of LGBT people who currently serve or have served in the military and our families as well as veteran and uniformed allies. SPART*A is an organization, built by, for and with members from all parts of the LGBT military community. Donate here: https://sparta.nationbuilder.com/donate
DONATE TO THE TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER: TLC works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. Donate here: https://transgenderlawcenter.org/donate