Over 30 businesses are standing up for transgender rights by filing an amicus brief in a court case regarding a trans student suing his school.
In June 2017, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida on behalf of 17-year-old Drew Adams.
According to Lambda Legal’s records on the case, Adams began ‘living as the boy that he is’ in 2015. He used the boys’ restroom starting in his freshman year without any problems. When an anonymous tip alerted school authorities of this, they said he had to use the gender neutral restroom.
Last July, a federal court found in favor of Adams and said his school must allow him to use the restroom that corresponds to his gender.
Now, however, the school is appealing that decision.
The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will be hearing the appeal later this year. This is the court the businesses filed their brief with on behalf of Adams.
Literally meaning ‘friend of the court’, the amicus brief filed by people or organizations who are not a party in the case, but have an investment in the issues of the case.
The buisnesses include Apple, Google, Twitter, Tumblr, and more.
What these businesses say
In their statement of interest in the case, the businesses (or ‘Amici’, as they’re called in the brief) state they ‘share core values of equality, respect, and dignity for all people, regardless of their gender identity’.
Further, they ‘support and defend public policies that protect civil rights’ and also understand diversity is ‘good for business’.
In their brief, the businesses say they are invested in the case for several reasons. One is that a reversal of the original decision could extend far beyond the school. It could emboldened other entities to practice similarly discriminatory practices, which they argue is detrimental across the board.
‘Because the Policy lacks any reasoned justification, and because the Policy has significant adverse effects on the transgender community and thereby harms Amici, Amici respectfully urge the Court to affirm the ruling of the district court,’ the brief concludes.
Standing up for what’s right
‘Policies that target transgender students for discrimination are dangerous and pose a serious risk to these businesses’ employees, their families and their customers,’ said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.
HRC filed the brief with the court.
‘No student should wake in the morning fearful of bullying or discrimination during the school day ahead — and we thank these companies for their support of transgender young people like Drew Adams.’
One of the most high-profile transgender bathroom cases is that of student Gavin Grimm. He has been suing his Virginia school for nearly four years, with the state actively debating the policy.
President Obama’s administration supported Grimm, but Trump’s administration has been less supportive of transgender students.
Their fights, however, continue.