It’s been an uphill battle fighting on behalf of transgenders’ right to use the restroom of their expressed gender. Nonetheless, a victory has been won thanks to a former young high schooler who never gave up on the fight.
Gavin Grimm, a former high school student of Gloucester County, has won a lawsuit against the county’s school board for his right to use the men’s public restroom on school grounds as reported by The New York Times.
A federal judge in Virginia has found in favor of a transgender student whose efforts to use the boys’ bathrooms at his high school reached the Supreme Court and thrust him into the middle of a national debate about the rights of transgender students.
The school board had maintained that Mr. Grimm’s “biological gender” was female and had prohibited administrators from allowing him to use the boys’ restrooms. He sued the school board in July 2015, alleging that its policy violated Title IX as well as the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
After 3 years, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, Grimm finally got the verdict he was fighting to achieve for all transgenders.
The board had argued in essence that its policy was valid because Title IX allows for claims only on the basis of sex, rather than gender identity, and that its policy did not violate the equal protection clause.
But Judge Wright Allen disagreed, writing that Mr. Grimm’s transgender status constituted a claim of sex discrimination and that the bathroom policy had “subjected him to sex stereotyping,” violations of the law.
“There were many other ways to protect privacy interests in a nondiscriminatory and more effective manner than barring Mr. Grimm from using the boys’ restrooms,” she continued. “The Board’s argument that the policy did not discriminate against any one class of students is resoundingly unpersuasive.”
Grimm no longer a high school student and relocated to Berkeley, California awaiting college to start in the Bay Area was surely relieved and happy to know that his efforts weren’t in vain.
“I feel an incredible sense of relief,” Mr. Grimm, now 19 and headed to college in the fall, said in a statement after the ruling. “After fighting this policy since I was 15 years old, I finally have a court decision saying that what the Gloucester County School Board did to me was wrong and it was against the law. I was determined not to give up because I didn’t want any other student to have to suffer the same experience that I had to go through.”
This doesn’t mean that the transgender bathroom ban issue is over. Unfortunately, there’s still might be some more fighting to go before there is an overall victory against the discriminatory initiative.
In Tuesday’s order, the judge directed lawyers for both parties to schedule a settlement conference within 30 days.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, the Gloucester County school board said it was “aware of the District Court’s decision.” It was not clear whether the board planned to appeal.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment on Judge Wright Allen’s ruling on Tuesday.