The Obama administration has filed a court brief supporting a transgender student’s challenge to a policy that prevents him from using the boys’ restroom.
Gavin Grimm, 16, sued Gloucester County School District in Virginia after it enacted the ban in December following complaints from parents.
A federal district court judge denied his request for an injunction last month, after which he took his case to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The administration’s 40-page filing supports Grimm’s claim that the policy discriminates on the basis of sex and therefore violates Title IX of the Education Act of 1972.
‘GCSB’s restroom policy denies GG a benefit that every other student at his school enjoys: access to restrooms that are consistent with his or her gender identity,’ lawyers from the justice and education departments wrote in the brief.
‘Whereas the policy permits non-transgender students to use the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity (because their gender identity and “biological gender” are aligned), it prohibits GG from doing so because, although he identifies and presents as male, the school deems his “biological gender” to be female.
‘Indeed, prohibiting GG from using the boys’ restrooms was precisely GCSB’s purpose in enacting the policy.’
Similar bathroom bans have been proposed in schools and states across the US.
The Human Rights Campaign commended the Obama administration’s move.
‘Today’s action by the department of justice sends a crucial message to schools across the country – transgender youth are valuable members of our community who are entitled to full protection of the law,’ said HRC President Chad Griffin.
‘Access to appropriate restrooms is necessary for students to be successful in school. No one should be humiliated or marginalized by the adults responsible for helping them to achieve.’