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Sexual Orientation

Pursuant to University policy, the University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of that person’s sexual orientation. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is the denial of privileges or benefits of education or employment, or the denial of the opportunity to participate in university activities, because of an individual’s sexual orientation.

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines “sexual orientation” as “the direction of one’s sexual interest toward members of the same, opposite, or both sexes.”

Gender Identity/Transgender Status

The University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of that person’s gender identity.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center website defines the term “transgender” as “an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to: transsexuals, cross-dressers, and other gender-variant people.”

Under both federal and Montana law, discrimination on the basis of an individual’s gender identity or status as a transgender person has traditionally not been prohibited. However, the status of the law is evolving. Recently, some courts have determined that, in certain circumstances, discrimination against a person because of the person’s gender identity may be prohibited. These court decisions involve facts particular to each case, and only a complete factual investigation can determine whether unlawful discrimination on the basis of gender identity has occurred.