Two federal agencies, under the guidance of the Obama administration, have shown their support for a rural Virginia transgender teen with a friend-of-the-court brief released earlier this week.
Gavin Grimm, 16, started his fight with the Gloucester County school board after they passed a policy forcing students to use the restroom linked with their birth gender last fall. He’s since seen his case, armed with lawyers from the ACLU, go to a district court in Norfolk, where it was struck down by a Judge who spent the hearing discussing marijuana laws, the authority of the Department of Justice, and how he was “rather upset with where we’re going in the United States.”
The DOJ sent a brief supporting Grimm prior to that hearing, and has long since held that Title IX protects transgender students use of the bathroom based on the gender they currently identify with.
The Department of Education’s show of support for Grimm is new to the case, and lawyers for both federal orgs said “treating a student differently from other students because his birth-assigned sex diverges from his gender identity constitutes differential treatment on the basis of sex under Title IX,” in the new brief.
The documents themselves have little authority, but they do show what the Associated Press called the Obama Administration’s “clearest statement to date on a modern civil rights issue” relating to transgender youth.