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'Transgender' Option Added to Iowa College Application

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Jan 15
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The University of Iowa has become the first public university in the nation to specifically include optional questions about students' sexual orientation and gender identity in its admissions applications, Baptist Press reports. Elmhurst College, a private liberal arts school, was the first U.S. institution of higher education to do so; now the University of Iowa's application offers "transgender" as an option along with "male" and "female" and asks the optional question, "Do you identify with the LGBTQ Community?" Michael Barron, assistant provost for enrollment management and executive director of admissions, said, "The new LGBT question on our undergraduate application reflects our foundational commitment to inclusion of all students, no matter what their origin or orientation." The University of Iowa said it prided itself on being a place of historic firsts, including the first public university to offer insurance benefits to employees' domestic partners.