Approved by the AAR Board of Directors on January 23, 2019
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed the establishment of a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance. The proposal calls for narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth. Many see this as an attempt by the government to erase federal recognition of Americans who identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex.
This proposed policy affects all of us and lessens our ability to build a truly inclusive society. The American Academy of Religion firmly opposes any measure that denies or restricts the rights or protections of transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex individuals; should this change take place in the national policy, it will have no effect on the AAR’s policies or procedures.
As is clearly stated in the AAR Bylaws, “The AAR shall tolerate no discrimination on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnicity, citizenship, immigration status, sex, gender expression or identification, sexual orientation, disability, religion, culture, political convictions, socioeconomic status, age, health conditions or marital, domestic, or parental status, or any other applicable basis proscribed by law.”
The AAR remains committed to cultivating and maintaining a community that welcomes and affirms all members. In accordance with our organizational values—notably diversity, inclusion, and respect—we reject all forms of bigotry and will continue to offer the highest levels of support for our transgender, gender non-binary, and intersex members.