Ct overturns VA school'south transgender bathroom regulation

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 10:38 PM

The case of Gavin Grimm has been particularly closely watched since NC enacted a law latest mo that bans transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

Ct overturns VA school'south transgender bathroom regulation

A VA high school discriminated against a transgender teen by forbidding him from using the boys' restroom, a federal appeals Ct ruled Tuesday in a case that could've implications for a NC law that critics declare discriminates against LGBT people.

The case of Gavin Grimm has been particularly closely watched since NC enacted a law latest mo that bans transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity. It also bans cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances, a response to an ordinance recently passed in Charlotte.

In the VA case, a three-judge panel of the fourth U. S. Circuit Ct of Appeals — which also covers N Carolina — ruled 2-1 to overturn the Gloucester County School Board'south policy, saying it violated Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination in schools. A federal judge had previously rejected Grimm'south sex discrimination claim, but the Ct said that judge ignored a U. S. Dept of Education regulation that transgender students in public schools should be allowed to utilize the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

"We consent that it's indeed been commonplace and widely accepted to separate public restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities on the basis of sex," the Ct wrote in its opinion. "It isn't obvious to us, however, that the truth of these propositions undermines the conclusion we reach regarding the level of deference due to the department'south interpretation of its own regulations."

Maxine Eichner, a Univ of NC law Prof who's an expert on sexual orientation and the law, said the ruling — the first of its kind by a federal appeals court — means the provision of N Carolina'south law pertaining to restroom utilize by transgender students in schools that get federal funds also is invalid.

"The effects of this decision on NC are clear," she said, adding that a judge in that state will have number choice but to apply the appeals court'south ruling.

Other states in the fourth Circuit are Maryland, WV and S Carolina. While those states are directly affected by the appeals court'south ruling, Eichner said the impact will be broader.

"It is a long and well-considered opinion that sets out the issues," she said. "It will be influential in other circuits."

Appeals Ct Judge Paul V. Niemeyer wrote in a dissenting opinion that the majority'south opinion "completely tramples on all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes."

The school board could appeal the decision to the full appeals Ct or the U. S. Supreme Court. David Patrick Corrigan, attorney for the school board, didn't immediately reply to a telephone message.

On another issue, the appeals Ct ordered the trial judge to reconsider his refusal to issue an order that'd authorize Grimm to utilize the boys' restrooms immediately.

Grimm was born female but identifies as male. He was allowed to utilize the boys' restrooms at the school for several weeks in two thousand-fourteenth. But after some parents complained, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to utilize either the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender or a private, single-stall restroom.

Grimm called the policy stigmatizing. School executive said the policy respects the privacy of all students.

"I perceive so relieved and vindicated by the court's ruling," Grimm said in a statement released by the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents him. "Today'south decision gives me hope that my fight will assistance other kids avert discriminatory treatment at school."

Grimm, sixteen, said he started refusing to wear girls' attire by age six and told his parents he was transgender in April 2014.

Grimm'south parents helped him legally modify his name, and a psychologist diagnosed him with gender dysphoria, characterized by stress stemming from conflict between one'south gender identity and assigned sex at birth. Grimm began hormone treatment to deepen his voice and give him a more masculine appearance.

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