Companies back transgender rights in Supreme Court fight

Gavin Grimm 17 of Gloucester Va. sued his school district over the right to use the boys bathroom at his high school. The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday

Companies back transgender rights in Supreme Court fight

Monday's order makes it more likely the Supreme Court eventually will decide the issue with a full complement of nine justices.

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled last April that Gavin Grimm, a transgender student in Virginia's Gloucester County School District, must be allowed access to public school single-sex male facilities. The school board eventually voted to require that students use bathrooms that correspond to their "biological gender."

And then the Trump administration rescinded President Obama's transgender guidelines, which said that public school students should be allowed to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity.

The Supreme Court was scheduled to begin hearing Grimm's case on March 28. Its earlier ruling had been based on the Obama administration's interpretation, now reversed by Trump, that Title IX protects transgender students.

"We expect and urge all schools to meet their moral and legal responsibility to fully respect and include their transgender students, as thousands of schools around the country have already been doing for years". The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed in October to hear the case.

"The Supreme Court has missed an opportunity to end the painful discrimination now faced by tens of thousands of transgender students nationwide", Byard said in a statement.

The companies' brief says they are "concerned about the stigmatising and degrading effects" of the policy adopted by the school board. Essentially, the appeals court needs to consider the scope of Title IX and whether it applies to trans people.

Gavin Grimm was assigned female gender when he was born in May 1999.

In undoing the Obama order protecting transgender rights, the Trump administration said it required more time to evaluate the issue and put forward its own stance. "The joint decision made today by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education ... paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators".

A ruling by SCOTUS on Grimm's case would have potentially clarified whether or not transgender students' rights are protected under Title IX. But the issue could return to the high court within a year or two as other cases address whether Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bars sex discrimination in federally funded schools, may be interpreted today to cover gender identity.

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