Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

Supreme Court Not Buying Transgender Bathrooms

Blocks Fed. Appellate Rulling that Boys who identify as Girls, may use girls bathrooms and locker rooms


August 7, 2016

The Supreme Court blocked an earlier ruling by a federal appeals court that would have allowed boys to use the girls bathroom and locker rooms if they 'identified' as girls

On August 3, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that common sense should prevail when it comes to bathrooms at public schools. The Supreme Court blocked an earlier ruling by a federal appeals court that would have allowed boys to use the girls bathroom and locker rooms if they 'identified' as girls.

The original court case was a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Virginia against the Virginia Gloucester County School Board. The ACLU alleged that under Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination in federally funded schools on the basis of sex, and according to the 14th amendment, which provides for equal protection under the law, that students who considered themselves transgender had the right to use bathroom and locker facilities opposite to their biological sex. The ACLU's position was that the Gloucester County's policy for school bathrooms was illegal. The policy was that students should use the bathrooms for their biological sex, but if any felt uncomfortable doing so, a separate facility would be provided for these self-identifying transgender individuals.

The ACLU contended that separate was not good enough. Boys should be able to use girls' bathrooms if they had decided they identified as girls. And vice versa.

Opponents of the suit pointed out that Title IX actually specifically requires schools to provide single-sex bathrooms and locker rooms and was intended to furnish the privacy and safety that the ACLU intended to destroy.

"Schools have a duty to protect the privacy and safety of all students," notes Jeremy Tedesco, Senior Counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. The ADF had filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of concerned parents and community members of Gloucester County.

Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissented with the majority rule of the court.


Reader Comments

Misleading writes:

This article misrepresents the facts. The Supreme Court merely granted a temporary stay on the 4th circuits ruling while it considers whether it will take the case or not. If they decide not to hear the case, the 4th circuits ruling will automatically and immediatly go into effect and Mr. Grimm, a young trans-male will be allowed to use the men's room again. If they accpet the case, there are currently 4 liberal justices who will certainly vote for allowing trans people to use the bathroom consisitant with their gender identity. While the 4 other remaining justices are conservative, Justice Kennedy has built a legacy on the bench for advancing lgbt rights. Most recently, as the deciding swing vote on marriage equality, he explained the fundamental liberties protected by the 14th Amendment extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices that define personal identity and beliefs. I think trans rights are safe, but enjoy!


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