A transgender teen can use the bathroom of his choice, thanks to a decision by the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The court ruled 2-to-1 that high-schooler Gavin Grimm should be allowed to use the men’s room and reopened a discrimination case against the teen’s school.
Grimm sued the Gloucester County school board after they passed a rule forcing students to use the bathroom of their biological sex, largely due to parental complaints about Grimm using the men’s room. A lower court ruled in favor of the school and dismissed Grimm’s case, but Grimm’s victory in his appeal brings the case back before a lower court.
The decision siding with high-schooler Gavin Grimm is in line with guidelines set by the Department of Education saying that students should be allowed to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity and not their biological sex. The DOE has said that refusing to allow a student to use bathrooms that align with their gender is a violation of Title IX, a rule that prohibits discrimination based on gender to federally funded schools.
“It’s a complete vindication for the education department’s interpretation of Title IX,” American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Joshua Block told the Washington Post. Block represented Grimm in his appeal to the 4th Circuit court, which included this statements within the ruling:
“[DOE]’s interpretation resolves ambiguity by providing that in the case of a transgender individual using a sex-segregated facility, the individual’s sex as male or female is to be generally determined by reference to the student’s gender identity.”
Bathroom use by transgender people has been a hot-button issue as of late, with North Carolina passing a law that makes it illegal for trans people to use their preferred bathroom and several other states considering similar laws. Barring the Supreme Court hearing a case to settle the issue, these lower court rulings and appeals are likely to become commonplace.
(Via the Washington Post)