September 4, 2015 at 6:29 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Federal judge rules against transgender Va. student

Gavin Grimm, Title IX, gay news, Washington Blade

Gavin Grimm (Photo courtesy of Gavin Grimm)

A federal judge on Friday ruled against a transgender teenager who continues to challenge his Virginia school district’s policy requiring students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their “biological gender.”

U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar rejected Gavin Grimm’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have allowed him to use the boys restroom at Gloucester County High School during the upcoming academic year as his case proceeds.

“It is difficult to face another school year of being singled out and treated differently from other students,” said Grimm in a statement.

The Gloucester County School Board approved the controversial policy last December. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia in June filed a federal lawsuit, alleging the policy violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibits schools that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex.

Doumar in late July said the policy does not violate Title IX. He has yet to rule on whether he will allow Grimm’s case to proceed based on his claim under the 14th Amendment.

The ACLU in a press release said it plans to appeal Doumar’s latest ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

“We are deeply disappointed with the court’s decision and will appeal as quickly as possible to ensure that Gavin does not have to endure this harmful and stigmatizing policy a single day more than necessary,” said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney in the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Project. “As a result of the decision, Gavin will have to start the school year under a demeaning and stigmatizing policy that relegates him to separate restrooms from his peers. We expect today’s decision to be reversed on appeal.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Brooks Austin

    It’s horrible and disappointing but not surprising a bigoted judge appointed by Reagan would rule this way. I hope there’s a way to reverse this.

  • DFW EMS

    I’m curious about the legal rationale the ACLU is using to advance this. Are they arguing that forcing the boy to use the girls room is sex discrimination? Is there legal precedent for trans people being protected under the equal protection clause. Details please…!

    • The federal government has clarified that trans discrimination is sex discrimnation. ACLU is seeking that the Glouceter County School Board policy be found contrary to that. They also filed complaint to have the board’s federal funding withdrawn on those grounds. They don’t need to argue whether it is sex discrimination. See the linked report of the filing of the case. They will win on appeal.

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