Gavin Grimm wanted to be treated like any other student.
Religious beliefs about gender identity shouldn’t stand in his way.
That’s why we filed a brief supporting Gavin’s case.
When Gavin Grimm was a freshman in high school, he came out as a transgender male. Since then, he has lived as a boy in all respects. And at school, he got permission to use the boys’ restrooms and he did so, of course, without incident.
After seven weeks, however, the school board held several public meetings. Community members complained about Gavin’s use of the boys’ bathrooms; many commenters said that their religious beliefs motivated their opposition. The school board then changed school policy to require students to use restrooms that corresponds to their “biological genders.”
Use of the restroom is a basic human need we all share. If Gavin and other transgender students are denied access to the bathroom, they are also denied access to the school. Therefore, with the help of the ACLU, Gavin filed suit under Title IX, a federal civil rights law barring sex discrimination in education. Gavin argued that Title IX protected him from the school’s new discriminatory policy.
After the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Gavin’s case, the Trump administration rescinded important guidance about how schools should implement Title IX’s protections for trans students. Because of this, the Supreme Court sent Gavin’s case back to the lower court for further consideration. In May 2018, the Fourth Circuit determined that the school’s policy violated his constitutional rights.
Americans United, along with allies, filed briefs in the Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit and we will continue our fight for transgender students. School policy—especially a policy of outright discrimination—cannot be governed by some community members’ religious beliefs.
Learn More About The Case:
Religious Beliefs Shouldn’t Justify Discrimination Against Schoolchildren - AU Legal Fellow Carmen Green
Trump Administration Revokes Guidance On Civil Rights Protections For Transgender Students - AU Legal Fellow Kelly Percival
Supreme Court Scheduled To Hear Transgender Bathroom Case In March - The Washington Post
I’m Transgender And Can’t Use The Student Bathroom. The Supreme Court Could Change That. - Gavin Grimm's op-ed in The Washington Post