James R. Favor & Company is committed to providing resources designed to address the health, safety, and well-being of fraternal organizations, and their current and prospective members. The Fraternal Health & Safety Initiative is designed to aid fraternal organizations in creating a culture of support and safety. This space is designed to host position statements and resources as topics develop.
Transgender membership eligibility is an area where clarity is needed to ensure fraternal organizations are positioned to serve the entirety of their membership. James R. Favor & Company and the Fraternal Health & Safety Initiative Team researched and crafted guidance to provide clear direction on the status of whether transgender students are eligible for membership. This will continue to be an ongoing area of exploration as the topic develops.
The documents below are designed to serve as resources on this topic. The first is a memorandum produced by Michael A. Smith, Esq., Counsel to James R. Favor & Company, LLC and the Fraternal Health & Safety Initiative Consortium which speaks to the legal considerations for organizations in their decision-making. The second document, the FHSI Resource - Transgender Membership Policy Guidance which was prepared by Drew Hunter and Suzette Walden Cole, provides broader background, discussion points, and compiled resources from industry experts on the topic of transgender membership considerations. Finally, to provide additional context, we are including a quick reference to both the Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students – U. S. Department of Justice and U. S. Department of Education – February 22, 2017 and May 13, 2016