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Controversial Transgender Bathroom Case Gets Landmark Victory Through Supreme Court

by : Emily Brown on :
PA

A years-long court case has resulted in victory for a transgender man after the US Supreme Court confirmed he was allowed to use the school bathroom that corresponded to his gender identity.

Gavin Grimm filed a lawsuit against the school board of his then-high school in 2015, when he challenged its decision to require him to use either a unisex toilet or a female toilet, which corresponded to the sex he was assigned at birth.

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Grimm described the requirements as ‘humiliating’ and argued they violated the federal civil rights law Title IX, which prohibits schools from discriminating ‘on the basis of sex’, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

In the wake of Grimm’s lawsuit, the Obama Justice Department filed a ‘statement of interest’ which accused the board of violating Title IX, after which a federal appeals court sided with Grimm. The school board then appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which reached its conclusion today, June 28.

Though it was feared the high court may reverse the decision of the federal appeals court, the Supreme Court declined to take up the case and as a result, opted to leave the earlier decision in place.

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Speaking about the victory in a statement cited by CNN, Grimm said:

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 girl’s 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 by their own school boards and elected officials.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also celebrated the high court’s decision, with senior staff attorney Josh Block describing it as an ‘incredible victory for Gavin and for transgender students around the country,’ NBC News reports.

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A decision from the high court faced delays after the Trump administration withdrew the guidance put in place by the Obama Justice Department and the Supreme Court sent the case back down for further proceedings, having wiped away the decision by the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Grimm’s case had to begin once again at the district court, after which the Fourth Circuit stuck by the earlier decision and ruled in his favour. The court cited the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision which held that federal employment law protects LGBTQ+ workers, in turn leading to the result today.

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Featured Image Credits: PA

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, LGBTQ+, Supreme Court, Toilets, transgender

Credits

CNN
  1. CNN

    Supreme Court gives victory to transgender student who sued to use bathroom