Sen. Warner, Rep. Bobby Scott and RVA-area faith leaders sign brief supporting transgender student’s bathroom-case
Nearly 200 members of Congress, including two legislators from Richmond, have signed on an amicus brief supporting protections for transgender students in response to a Virginia-based Supreme court case.
In November 2014, Gloucester County student Gavin Grimm filed a lawsuit against his school board after the body passed a policy forcing students to use restrooms aligned with what’s marked on their birth certificate. Grimm, who was born female but identifies as a transgender man, has been aided by the ACLU in a challenge that is set to go before the US Supreme Court later this month. As the traction builds, Congressmen and Senators, as well as various faith based organizations and Fortune 500 companies have expressed their support for Grimm through submitted legal briefs.
“Title IX was enacted to protect vulnerable students from discrimination on the basis of sex and guarantee that these at-risk students receive equal educational opportunities,” read the brief signed by 196 lawmakers including Virginia Senator Mark Warner and Richmond Congressman Bobby Scott. “Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ encompasses discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotypes.”
Grimm’s case is the first time SCOTUS will deal with transgender rights and was rocked when the Trump Administration withdrew an Obama-era guideline which, similar to the legislator’s brief, told schools to include transgender under Title IX’s “sex” class for nondiscrimination.
Fellow Virginia Senator Tim Kaine spoke out when Trump first withdrew the Department of Education’s support shortly after AG Jeff Sessions took his post last month.
“All students are entitled to a safe learning environment,” said Kaine, a Richmond mayor, in a statement. “I worry this will damage efforts already underway in our public schools to protect members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination, bullying, and violence.”
But it isn’t just politicians throwing in their support, 87 multi-denomination faith leaders from across the Commonwealth joined with nearly 2,000 others from around the country to sign an amicus brief as well.
“All human beings in all their diversity have been created in God’s image,” said Rabbi Michael of Knopf of Temple Beth-El. He was one of 12 Richmond-area faith leaders who signed the brief. “We have the responsibility of creating a society where all people are afforded their dignity and equal protections and rights under the law.”
Other Richmond-area clergy who signed on include The Rev. Weston Mathews, Rev. Andrew Moore, Rabbi Michael Knopf, Rev. Kenneth Callaghan, Professor John Carroll, Rev. Michelle Freeman Owens, Rev. Jeanne Pupke, Rev. Linda Higgins, Rev. Kathryn Talley, Rev. Dr. Susan Fox, the Right Rev. Susan Goff, and Rev. Dr. Karen-Marie Yust.
Grimm’s case is set to be heard in DC on March 24th.
Gavin Grimm just made TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. Grimm, the youngest person on the list, is a high school senior who, as he has said, just wants to be able to use the restroom like everyone else. After his Virginia school board forced him to use a reconfigured janitor’s closet, Grimm, who [...]April 21, 2017
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