A federal judge ruled Friday that a Virginia school district’s policy preventing transgender student Gavin Grimm from using boys’ bathroom facilities violates the U.S. Constitution, the latest ruling in a case remanded to lower courts by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Grimm’s motion for summary judgment against Gloucester County School Board.
Judge Arenda Wright Allen, an appointee of President Barack Obama, contended in her court order that the school district violated the 14th Amendment and Title IX of education civil rights law by not allowing the biologically female student into boys’ bathrooms and by refusing to change school transcripts to reflect the student’s gender identity.
The judge ordered the school district to change Grimm’s transcripts to reflect a male identity within 10 days and pay Grimm’s attorney fees.
“[T]he perpetuation of harm to a child stemming from unconstitutional conduct can not be allowed to stand,” the judge wrote.
Wright Allen argued that there is “no question” that the school board’s policy “discriminates against transgender students on the basis of their gender nonconformity.”
Having graduated in 2017, Grimm first filed a lawsuit in 2015 as a sophomore over a school district policy that required students to use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond with their biological sex.
“Under the policy, all students except for transgender students may use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity,” the judge stated in her order. “Transgender students are singled out, subjected to discriminatory treatment and excluded from spaces where similarly situated students are permitted to go.”
Grimm, now 20 years old, expressed relief in a statement and said the ruling brought “closure and vindication” after “years of fighting” for himself and other trans youth in the U.S.
“I promise to continue to advocate for as long as it takes for everyone to be able to live their authentic lives freely, in public, and without harassment and discrimination,” Grimm concluded.
Grimm’s case had previously gone to the Supreme Court for consideration.
But in 2017, the nation’s high court sent the case back to lower courts because the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals based its ruling in favor of Grimm on a 2015 Obama administration guidance encouraging all public schools to allow transgender students to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.
The Obama-era guidance interpreted Title IX law that bars discrimination on the basis of sex to also include protections on the basis of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” even though such protections are not expressly written into federal law.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith