Appeal denied in Federal transgender bathroom case – schools must protect student’s gender identity
Just in from the ACLU of Virginia, the Fourth Circuit Court of appeals will not rehear the case of a student’s challenge against his local school board over their controversial bathroom policy. Gavin Grimm, 16, identifies as female-to-male transgender and won a federal challenge to the school’s policy which forces students to use the restroom aligned with their birth gender.
“Now that the Fourth Circuit’s decision is final, I hope my school board will finally do the right thing and let me go back to using the boys’ restroom again,” said Grimm in a statement from the ACLU.
The ruling sent down by the Federal court back in April details their reasoning for supporting Grimm, including a Department of Justice mandate sent out in January of this year which explained transgender students should be allowed to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity.
The core of this ruling involves Title IX, the federal program that gives money to schools, including gender identity as a protected group under the class of sex discrimination.
“They’ve said quite clearly that Title IX prohibition against sex discrimination in federally funded programs, includes prohibiting discrimination against people on the basis of gender identity,” said VA ACLU Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastanaga.
“Somehow, all of this is lost in the current Administration’s service of the politically correct acceptance of gender identification as the meaning of “sex,” he wrote, before symbolically offering the school board a rehearing which was denied by the majority of the bench.
After the ruling in April, the Gloucester County School Board asked for an en banc review of the case meaning all 15 Appeals judge’s would have to review the ruling. According to the ACLU, “in order to hear an en banc review, a majority of the judges must vote to do so; however, none of the judges in this case requested a vote.”
The Fourth Circuit oversees the state of North Carolina so theoretically all legal challenges around similar transgender bathroom use should follow this ruling, allowing trans individuals to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity. This includes the Tar Heel states’s controversial HB2.
“The law protects people against gender identity discrimination as a reasonable understanding of sex discrimination,” said Gastanaga in April after the Fourth Circuit ruling was passed down. “The law would also apply in North Carolina,”
The North Carolina governor cited costs of litigation, noting that his state is also the defendant in a lawsuit filed against him by the Dept. of Justice on similar grounds.September 19, 2016
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