Washington, DC – The US Supreme Court announced on May 28th that it will not hear a challenge to school policies that allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The court’s decision leaves such policies in place, at least for now, and represents a victory for trans rights. The high court will only take up cases that at least four justices vote to hear.
The case, Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, originated with a group of four students at a Pennsylvania high school, who claimed that their privacy rights were violated by a school policy allowing trans students to use facilities that matched their gender identities. The four were represented by the anti-LGBT group Alliance Defending Freedom.
The central legal issue is the interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which forbids schools that receive federal funds – in other words, almost all schools in the US – from discriminating on the basis of sex. The Obama administration believed that the language of Title IX also protected gender identity. When that reading of Title IX was challenged by lawsuits, the Supreme Court was preparing to review the case, but a policy change by the Trump administration rendered the suit moot and the high court ultimately declined to hear it. The ACLU called the Supreme Court’s decision “an enormous victory for transgender students across the country… . But our work is far from over. We will continue to defend the transgender community from attacks in the courts, the legislatures, and the White House.” (Seattle Gay News – Mike Andrew at Sgn.org/sgnnews47_22/page2.cfm)
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