A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
3) Research:  
It may also be advisable to research the
Once officials have raised any questions
backgrounds of key decision makers
or objections, you must then answer
(including administrators and trustees) to
them. This may require research.  For
determine if their alma maters have
example, in response to your inquiry, an
passed anti discrimination policies.
administrator may argue that a policy
Many people   including many profes 
prohibiting discrimination on the basis of
sionals in academia   have strong ties to
sexual orientation is unnecessary.  In that
the colleges from which they graduated,
case, it is helpful to identify examples of
and campus officials my be persuaded to
discrimination, harassment or violence
support a policy banning discrimination
that have occurred on your campus.  If
against lgbts if their alma maters have
possible, document anti gay episodes
already done so.  Very often campus offi 
and/or conduct a survey of lgbt people on
cials quote in their speeches and writings
campus to measure rates of victimization.
the people they admire, including civil
(Check with the social research depart 
rights leaders, Supreme Court Justices,
ments at your school for assistance in this
and members of Congress.  Are some of
area.)  The quantitative and anecdotal
their heroes supportive of lgbt rights?  If
information you gather will strengthen
so, point that out to them.
your case for discrimination protections.
But regardless of whether such informa 
4) Network: 
tion is available, you can point out to offi 
Develop coalitions.  Talk to people and
cials that the mere potential for discrimi 
make friends.  Ask for help from student
nation is grounds enough for an anti dis 
groups, faculty, staff, sympathetic admin 
crimination policy.
istrators, lgbt alumni/ae, and   not least
  your parents (assuming they are sup 
Aside from the issue about whether anti 
portive).  Vigorous and vocal coalitions
gay discrimination exists, another classic
are the single most important key to con 
objection is that such a policy would be
vincing the administration to take action.
wrong, and would imply an "endorse 
You need to show the administration that
ment" of homosexuality.  If confronted
support for your proposal is widespread
with these arguments, do not let oppo 
and not limited just to lgbt people.
nents claim the moral high ground.  It is
homophobia   not homosexuality  
that is immoral.  Moreover, a non dis 
crimination clause does not imply
endorsement of homosexuality any more
than ensuring freedom of religion implies
preference for any religious belief or sect.
To buttress your case, it is helpful to have
on hand a list of municipalities, business 
es and universities that prohibit anti gay
discrimination.  (Appendix A, p 170 con 
tains a  list of campuses with non dis 
crimination policies that include sexual
orientation.)
Photo   1995 Alex Zaphiris
N o n   D i s c r i m i n a t i o n   P o l i c i e s
M     1 6 3






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