May 10, 2021 | Office of the President

Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby Support Transgender Rights with Letter to Maine Legislature (May 10, 2021)

In a joint letter to state legislators, the presidents of Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby Colleges announced their strong opposition to two anti-transgender athletes in sports bills currently before the Maine Legislature. 

In the letter, Clayton Spencer of Bates, Clayton Rose of Bowdoin, and David Greene of Colby detail their objection to the proposals, LD 926 and LD 1401, and express support for transgender student participation in athletics in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary school.

The letter notes existing guidance from governing bodies, including the Maine Principal's Association (MPA) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), regarding inclusion of transgender athletes on the field, and cautions against the greater message delivered by the proposal of such legislation.    

"Transgender students, like all students, thrive when they are treated with dignity and respect. Transgender students have been openly part of our school communities for many years in Maine, and schools have managed well in everything from gym class to school sports programs and activities."

The letter goes on to say, "We should not exclude transgender girls from these important experiences, force them to choose between being themselves and participating in sports, or be stigmatized in this way. These bills are searching for a problem that does not exist."

Read the joint letter in its entirety.