US Supreme Court says school can block trans student from using male bathrooms during lawsuit
The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a school can temporarily block a trans student from using male bathroom facilities during a legal battle over trans rights.
The highest court in the US put on hold a previous ruling from a lower federal court which said the student, Gavin Grimm, 17, should be allowed to use whichever facilities he chose.
This is the first time a lawsuit around trans rights has reached the Supreme Court in the US.
Five out of eight justices on the Supreme Court voted to stay the ruling from the US District Court in Norfolk, Virginia, which was made in June.
The Virginia court in June ruled that Grimm must be able to use the men’s facilities in his Virginia Gloucester County high school.
The court ruled that the School Board in Gloucester must allow him to use the toilets corresponding to his gender identity.
Grimm’s claim of sexual discrimination had initially been dismissed by the court. But his case was reinstated by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in April.
“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 in June.
But his ACLU lawyer Joshua Block, condemned the Supreme Court’s decision.
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He said: “No irreparable harm will occur [if Grimm] is allowed to use the boys’ restroom while this court considers whether to grant certiorari.”
Grimm was banned from using the men’s restroom at his school.
The school board had said in June that it would ask the Supreme Court to review the ruling.
Last month a School Board in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania voted through a new policy protecting transgender students and allowing appropriate bathroom use.
The policy comes after Mississippi and North Carolina passed laws banning such policies, and forcing trans people to use public bathrooms which correspond to the sex stated on their birth certificate.