Harvard Law Students Protest Military’s Transgender Ban
Over two dozen Harvard Law students staged a protest on campus last Tuesday outside offices where the U.S. military was holding interviews.
The protests, organized by HLS Lambda and Queer/Trans People of Color, follow growing concern over President Trump’s announcement that transgender people may not serve in the military.
The Harvard Crimson reports that the protest took place during the day that U.S. Army and Air Force conducted interviews for their JAG corps, which allows students to serve in the military while pursuing a legal education.
Students argued that allowing the military to actively recruit on campus, following Trump’s decision to ban transgender people, violates Harvard Law School’s anti-discrimination policy. Since Harvard receives federal funding, it must allow the military to actively recruit on campus.
Han Park is the co-President of Lambda—the school’s BGLTQ student group. Park says the protest was designed to bring public attention to the issue.
“We’ve had a dialogue with the school and said, ‘Listen, if you’re going to have an anti-discrimination policy in place, live up to it, or else don’t take the money, or do something else with the money,’” Park tells The Harvard Crimson. “That’s the conversation we’re going to be having, but we’re today, right outside the interview rooms, just to kind of show a physical presence saying that we don’t agree with this policy.”
Law School Dean John F. Manning sent an email to students Friday acknowledging that military recruitment on campus violated the school’s anti-discrimination policies. However, due to the Solomon Amendment, Manning said federal-funded universities are required to allow military recruiting on campus.
“I very much regret this exception to our antidiscrimination policy,” Manning wrote. “Military service is a noble calling. Those who choose that path are entitled to gratitude and honor for the sacrifices they make protecting our freedoms. This fact, however, heightens the inequity and wrong of denying some of our students the opportunities that others enjoy to serve this country.”
Sources: The Harvard Crimson, Above The Law