January 28, 2016 at 1:06 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Federal appeals court hears transgender Va. student lawsuit

Gavin Grimm, Title IX, gay news, Washington Blade

Gavin Grimm (Photo courtesy of Gavin Grimm)

A federal appeals court on Wednesday for the first time considered the question of whether Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 allows transgender students to use facilities that are consistent with their gender identity.

A three-judge panel on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., heard oral arguments in the lawsuit that Gavin Grimm filed against the Gloucester County School Board over its policy that prevents him from using the boys restroom or locker rooms.

Grimm, who is a student at Gloucester County High School, alleges the controversial policy violates Title IX that prohibits schools receiving federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex. He also claims it is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

“I am fighting this fight because no kid should have to think so hard about performing a basic and private function of being alive,” said Grimm during a press conference that took place after the hearing. “No kid struggling to be accepted, and struggling to accept themselves, should have to simultaneously battle for the right to use the correct bathroom.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is representing Grimm.

U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar last July said the Gloucester County School District’s policy does not violate Title IX.

The Obama administration has filed a brief in support of Grimm’s case.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT legal group, last month filed a brief in the case on behalf of the Family Foundation of Virginia. Officials from North Carolina, West Virginia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Arizona and Maine have also urged the 4th Circuit not to rule in favor of Grimm.

A ruling from the federal appeals court is expected in the coming months.

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

1 Comment
© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.