I don't know what to do. The University has violated its own Equal Opportunity Statement, and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action has handed down a verdict that they have not. What do you think?
The 2010-2011 Comprehensive Student Health Benefit Plan excludes:
Services for or related to sex transformation/gender reassignment surgery, sex hormones related to surgery, related preparation and follow-up treatment, care and counseling.
The American Medical Association says:
Whereas, The denial of these otherwise covered benefits for patients suffering from GID represents discrimination based solely on a patient's gender identity; and
Whereas, Delaying treatment for GID can cause and/or aggravate additional serious and expensive health problems, such as stress-related physical illnesses, depression, and substance abuse problems, which further endanger patients' health and strain the health care system; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder (New HOD Policy); and be it further
RESOLVED, That our AMA oppose categorical exclusions of coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder when prescribed by a physician. (Directive to Take Action)
Still, the University states:
While the failure to cover sex reassignment surgery in the Plan does not amount to a violation of University policy, it hinders the perception of the University as a place that supports all of its students. Additionally this exclusion could have a negative impact on the University's ability to promote itself as a welcoming and open community. This concludes the investigation into this matter.
Am I the only gopher embarrassed by that? Not only does it contradict all reason, but they contradict themselves!
Furthermore, I have been advised that the General Counsel's office for the U doesn't think there is a violation of the law. I cite Minnesota Statutes:
Subd. 44. Sexual orientation.
"Sexual orientation" means having or being perceived as having an emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another person without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness. "Sexual orientation" does not include a physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult.
363A.11 PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.
Subdivision 1. Full and equal enjoyment of public accommodations.
(a) It is an unfair discriminatory practice:
(1) to deny any person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation because of race, color, creed, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or sex, or for a company to discriminate in the access to, full utilization of, or benefit from service because of a person's disability.
Whether Gender Identity Disorder can be considered a disability is controversial in the transgender community, but the Minnesota Human Rights Commission has clearly stated that it can be. Minnesota law broken on two accounts: discrimination based on "sexual orientation" and discrimination based on disability.
The GLBTA office has gotten me to back off for now b/c they think this can be resolved through a joint committee, approved by the Vice Provost, between Boynton employees and members appointed by the GLBTA office to resolve the issue. On the other hand I'm getting legal advice from OutFront Minnesota saying I have a case that would stand up in court.
My gut is telling me this means war! What should I do? My health and possible survival is at stake here...