Westboro Baptist Members Are Protesting At HBCUs Making Strides To Be More Inclusive Of The Trans Community
Westboro Baptist Church protested outside of Morehouse and Spelman over their policies of accepting trans students.
Protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, picketed the entrances of Morehouse College and Spelman College in Atlanta on Sunday over the schools' policies of admitting transgender students.
As NBC affiliate WXIA reports, the demonstrations at Morehouse, an all-male historically black college, took place prior to the school's graduation ceremonies.
Demonstrators took issue with Morehouse's updated gender identity admissions policy. In April, it was announced that the school will include students who identify as men, regardless of the sex assigned to applicants at birth:
"In furtherance of our mission, tradition, and values as a men’s college, and in recognition of our changing world and evolving understanding of gender identity, Morehouse will now consider for admission applicants who live and self-identify as men, regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth. Women will not be eligible for admission at Morehouse," the statement reads.
The school also noted that it will continue to use "gendered language" that reflects Morehouse's identity as a men’s college.
"This admissions policy affects students who transition while enrolled at Morehouse. Once admitted, every student will receive the individualized support that is an essential part of the Morehouse experience. However, all students are expected to continue to self-identify as men throughout their matriculation at Morehouse. If, during a student’s time at Morehouse, a student transitions from a man to a woman, that student will no longer be eligible to matriculate at Morehouse."
While protesting at Spelman, a historically Black liberal arts college for women, church members reportedly took issue with the student organization Afrekete. The LGBTQ+ club provides a space for alumnae and allies of Spelman's lesbian and bisexual community.
In 2018, Spelman College began admitting transgender women.