Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

The University of Michigan prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, etc.). It is against university policy to treat a person differently from others because of that person’s sexual orientation, or to exclude a person from participation in, or deny a person the benefits of, a university program or activity on that basis.

See examples of prohibited discrimination for more examples of the types of sexual orientation discrimination prohibited by the university.

Hostile Environment
Sexual Orientation Harassment

The university will not tolerate the creation or existence of an environment that is hostile on the basis of sexual orientation. Such a hostile environment is defined as harassing conduct (e.g., physical, verbal, graphic or written) related to sexual orientation that is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent so as to (1) interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs and activities or (2) unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work or academic performance by creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment. Whether the harassing conduct is considered severe, persistent or pervasive depends upon the context in which the behavior occurred. For further discussion of what constitutes a hostile environment, please refer to the discussion of hostile environment in Section XIII.

Where to go for Help

If you believe you are experiencing discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation, you are encouraged to contact the appropriate university official (dean, director, HR Representative, etc.) and/or the Office of Institutional Equity (see contact information in Section XIX). There are also many resources on campus that provide assistance, support and information to individuals experiencing discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation. A list of these offices and a brief description of their services appear in Section XIX. If you are unsure which office to contact, contact the office that seems most appropriate, and that office will either assist you or help you make contact with a university office that can.