Supreme Court Passes Transgender Bathroom

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine) – On Monday, the Supreme Court passed a long-standing disagreement over “transgender students’ rights to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.”

In 2015, Gavin Grimm, a transgender man, sued his school board because he had been barred from using the boys’ restroom. Grimm was forced to use a unisex restroom because the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia had enforced that policy.

Grimm said in a recent statement, “I am glad that my years-long fight to have my school see me for who I am is over. Being forced to use the nurse’s room, a private bathroom, and the girls’ room was humiliating for me, and having to go to out-of-the-way bathrooms severely interfered with my education. Trans youth deserve to use the bathroom in peace without being humiliated and stigmatized.”

The topic of Title IX and its interpretation has been thrown around in the courts for several years now. The state court was behind Grimm in 2016 and once again in August 2020. The Supreme Court was going to hear the case in 2017, but it got sent back to the lower courts. 

There is a new interpretation of Title IX as announced in June by the Education Department. It includes “prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” The Supreme Court’s ruling of Bostock v. Clayton County helped make the decision for the Title IX interpretation. However, “the opinion issued about transgender rights in the workplace specifically said it did not address rights to use bathrooms or locker rooms.”

This is now the second time that the Supreme Court has avoided a lawsuit directed at stopping transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that “match their gender identity.” In December, the Supreme Court would not hear a case that was directed to ending “an Oregon school district’s policy of allowing transgender students to use facilities that match their gender identity.”

Because the Supreme Court has decided to retain the state court’s ruling, it is now seen as a major victory for transgender students. 

Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union LGBTQ & HIV Project, said, “This is an incredible victory for Gavin and for transgender students around the country. Our work is not yet done, and the ACLU is continuing to fight against anti-trans laws targeting trans youth in states around the country.”


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