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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 3, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 23
4th Circuit denies new review of Trans restroom ruling
Student can still use gender-appropriate restroom
Section One
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4th Circuit denies new review of Trans restroom ruling
Student can still use gender-appropriate restroom

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said on May 31 that it will not review its April ruling that a Transgender high school student can use the restroom that corresponds to his gender identity.

The Gloucester, Va., school board had asked the court for an en banc review of the decision, in other words, a hearing by all 15 active justices on the circuit. The April ruling was handed down by a panel of three justices, which is standard operating procedure for an appeals court.

The 4th Circuit panel had ruled in a 2-1 decision that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protected student Gavin Grimm's right to use the boys' restroom at his high school, under the law's prohibition of discrimination based on sex.

It was the first time a US appeals court had validated the Obama administration's contention that Title IX protections apply to Trans students. Lambda Legal, which submitted a brief supporting Grimm, called the 4th Circuit ruling a 'game changer.'

'Now that the 4th Circuit's decision is final, I hope my school board will finally do the right thing and let me go back to using the boys' restroom again,' Grimm said in a statement. 'Transgender kids should not have to sue their own school boards just for the ability to use the same restrooms as everyone else.'

According to the ACLU, which represented Grimm, a majority of the 4th Circuit justices could have asked for an en banc review, but 'none of the judges in this case requested a vote...'

While Grimm attended school in Virginia, North Carolina is also under the jurisdiction of the 4th Circuit, meaning that suits challenging that state's draconian anti-Trans law will likely be upheld by the appeals court.

A suit on behalf of two Trans men and a cisgender Lesbian has already been filed against the North Carolina law by ACLU-North Carolina and Equality North Carolina.

'While the discriminatory, stated focus of the legislature in passing HB 2 - the use of restrooms by transgender people - is on its own illegal and unconstitutional, HB 2 in fact wreaks far greater damage by also prohibiting local governments in North Carolina from enacting express anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity,' that lawsuit charges.

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