Federal court uphold landmark trans ruling
A US federal court has refused to hear an appeal by a school, who wanted to ban a trans student from using the bathroom.
Gavin Grimm a 16-year-old trans man successfully won an appeal against his high school in Virginia, when they barred him from using the male bathroom because religious groups had complained.
The ruling was the first time that a federal court had recognised the protections of trans people under a law that bans sex-based discrimination for federally funded institutions.
After the case, Joshua Block, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “With this decision, we hope that schools and legislators will finally get the message that excluding transgender kids from the restrooms is unlawful sex discrimination.”
Refusing to back down, the school asked the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the decision. This was refused.
Gavin said: “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.”
Many experts claim that this case could be seen as a touchstone for recent controversial laws passed in a number of states that aim to discriminate against trans people.
North Carolina’s Governor, Pat McCrory, has hit out at the ruling, saying it would “force our high schools to allow boys in girls’ restrooms, locker rooms or shower facilities.”
The US Justice Department said it was pleased with the decision and agreed it was one that should be advocated across the United States.
President Obama’s administration is currently entangled in a legal battle with a number of states over an a directive he issued telling schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponded with their gender identity.