Dean Kagan’s Email


I write to applaud the Dean for the courageous and moral stand she articulated with regard to the presence of military recruiters on campus in her message to the HLS community. Although I, like many others, have at times felt that she and the rest of the Administration did not go far enough in defending the law school’s non-discrimination policy, it is nevertheless important to express appreciation for what she has done.

There are, I am sure, many students here who feel exactly the opposite, who feel that the issue of gays in the military is still a hotly contested one and that the Dean, who is responsible to everyone in this community, should not be taking sides. To these people I would like to point out that, irrespective of the views of other institutions, here at Harvard equality for LGBT individuals has been official policy since 1979. I, and many other students, came to this law school in reliance on such this policy, and it is deeply unfair that the law school is now being coerced into violating its obligation to us. If you think that LGBT people do not deserve equality, that is a seperate debate (one that, curiously, many of you seem consistently reluctant to have). The issue here, however, is nothing more or less than the law school’s freedom to live up to one of its own core values- and there is probably no more appropriate topic on which the Dean could take a stand.

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