Trans Virginia student can use the boys restroom after district court grants injunction
Gavin Grimm will be allowed to use the boys restroom despite his School Board’s policy thanks to a reversed opinion from an Eastern district judge.
It’s been over a year and a half since Gloucester County public schools forced transgender students into the bathroom aligned with their birth gender, and Grimm, who identifies as female to male transgender, had been forced to follow that policy until he was granted an injunction yesterday. The injunction suspends the policy until the courts have time to hear the case and make a final decision.
“I am elated to hear that I’ll be able to attend my senior year of high school with my full rights restored,” said Grimm in a statement sent out yesterday afternoon. “After nearly two years of humiliation and intense struggle, equality has finally prevailed. Now hopefully other transgender people will not have to face this type of discrimination.”
Grimm’s case had worked its way up to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals here in Richmond where he found a supportive ruling which had influenced yesterday’s injunction, but all of that legal maneuvering was just to get to this point.
There’s still the actual trial to undergo, though the Fourth Circuit’s show of support for Grimm seems to bode well for his cause.
Grimm is being represented by the ACLU which has argued transgender students are protected under the Title IX and forcing them into the bathroom aligned with their birth gender, not their gender identity, discriminates against them on the basis of sex. Schools that violate Title IX can lose federal funding which often makes up a bulk of their budget.
US. District Court Judge Robert Doumar, who presides over the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, initially denied Gavin’s request for a preliminary injunction and dismissed his Title IX claim. ““You’re fighting an uphill battle,” said Doumar in the court room after denying testimony from the US Justice Department which had thrown their support behind Grimm and transgender students around the country.
But in April of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated Grimm’s Title IX claim, holding that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use sex segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity. The higher court instructed Doumar to reexamine the case with this in mind, forcing the injunction.
This now pushes the case back to the lower court for a proper hearing. Sources closes to the case were told the Gloucester County School Board plans to appeal this case wherever and however possible, even going as far as the US Supreme Court for a final decision, so don’t expect a speedy resolution to this complicated issue.
There’s also no court date set yet, but GayRVA will continue to follow the case as it evolves.
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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