Community Colleges Considering Adding Transgendered to List of Protected Groups

The Maricopa County Community College District board is considering adding transgendered people to its list of groups protected from harassment.

Arizona State University and the University of Arizona have included transgendered people in their anti-discrimination policies for years.

Currently, the community colleges recognize things like race, religion, and sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination policies. People who are transgendered are not included on the list.

By adding transgendered people to its list of protected groups, the community colleges would protect the transgendered from discrimination regardless of whether they're medically transitioning to the other gender.

Family Watch International -- an organization setup to "preserve and promote the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman as the societal unit that provides the best outcome for men, women and children" -- isn't happy about the proposed change.

Sharon Slater, president of the Gilbert-based group, tells the Arizona Republic her organization opposes the move.

From the Republic:  

"This would protect the behavior of anyone, for example, a man who wishes to present himself as a female, which means they could use girls showers and bathrooms," said Sharon Slater, president of the Gilbert-based group. "Proponents of this policy have suggested that they do not think that people who suffer from gender-identity disorder should be confined to the gender-neutral bathrooms created for this purpose.

"What if a male presents as a female to be on a sports team? How do you deal with that?"

She said the protection would be too broad. "There's no limitation. It's not defined as what that expression can or can't be when it steps over the line."