• University of San Diego
    University of San Diego
  • Anti-LGBT
    Racial prejudice
    Racial prejudice
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Prof. Herriot came to attention for her bias against transgender rights when, in 2016 during the national conversation on what toilet facilities transgender students should be given access to in public schools, she entered into a heated argument with Democratic U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren. In Heriot’s written statement on the issue, she argued against the legitimacy of transsexuals’ gender identification, writing “We are teaching young people a terrible lesson. If I believe that I am a Russian princess, that doesn’t make me a Russian princess, even if my friends and acquaintances are willing to indulge my fantasy…”[1]

In response, Lofgren stated that, “we allow witnesses to say offensive things, but I cannot allow that kind of bigotry to into the record unchallenged.”[2] Heriot subsequently added that, “very few actual transgender individuals are confused in this way. They understand perfectly that their sex and their gender do not align.”[3]

Heriot is also a proponent of the controversial and disputed “mismatch theory,” wherein she believes that “racial preferences in admissions do not do a favor to African Americans. We would have more black scientists, engineers and physicians if colleges used more race-neutral policies.”[4]

[1] Heriot, G. (May 24, 2016). Testimony of Gail Heriot. House judiciary Committee. Retrieved from https://judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/HHRG-114-JU00-Wstate-HeriotG-20160524.pdf

[2] Wire, S.D. (May 31, 2016). Essential Politics May Archives. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-essential-politics-zoe-lofgren-transgender-fight-professor-htmlstory.html

[3] Farrell, P. (May 27, 2016). Gail Heriot: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know. Heavy. Retrieved from http://heavy.com/news/2016/05/gail-heriot-zoe-lofgren-transgender-debate-video-bigot/

[4] Savage, D.G. (December 10, 2015). Justice Scalia under fire for race comments during affirmative action argument. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-scalia-race-20151210-story.html

Associated Organizations:

United States Commission on Civil Rights; Order of the Coif; Phi Beta Kappa; National Association of Scholars; California Association of Scholars.

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Departmental Contact

Stephen C. Ferruolo, Dean and Professor of Law

Contact email


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