University of Pittsburgh denies claims of discrimination

The University of Pittsburgh last week filed a motion defending itself against a complaint in April by the Rainbow Alliance claiming that officials had discriminated against transgender students by enacting a new restroom policy.

The complaint made by the Rainbow Alliance to the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations alleges that the university had unfairly decided on new guidelines for its dormitories, locker rooms and, in particular, its bathrooms, which would require transgender students to provide a birth certificate to determine their appropriate facilities.

University spokesmen maintain there has not been any discrimination reported against one particular individual, making the complaint a moot point. Other officials refused to comment due to ensuing litigation.

The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition responded with this statement in April:

“The university is ignoring their equal access statement by actively discriminating against and creating a hostile environment for transgender students. We call on the University to redact this medieval policy – to force transgender students to provide a birth certificate to use the bathroom. We must work on improving the campus for transgender students by adding trans-inclusive policies and providing gender-neutral bathrooms and housing.”

Rainbow Alliance has expressed an intention to dispute the defense, and will follow suit with litigation as necessary.

This post was written by Brandon Baker, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition and student at Temple University. Brandon can be contacted at