Federal court signals that Virginia transgender student’s restroom access case likely to proceed

acluA federal court in Virginia today heard arguments in the case of a transgender male student at Gloucester High School who seeks to use communal restrooms that match his gender identity. The case challenges a discriminatory policy that segregates transgender students from their peers and requires them to use “alternative private” restroom facilities.

G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Virginia on behalf of plaintiff Gavin Grimm, seeking a preliminary injunction so that Gavin can use the boys’ restroom when school resumes for his junior year. U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar signaled at today’s hearing that he is likely to allow Gavin to proceed with discovery on his claim that the bathroom policy violates the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, Gavin’s claim of sex discrimination under Title IX was dismissed.

“We are happy that the judge indicated he is likely to allow our equal protection claim to go forward, and we look forward to reviewing his decision once it is issued,” said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney in the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Project. “School officials must treat all students equally and may not demean and stigmatize transgender students by relegating them to separate restrooms from their peers.”

“Gavin’s case has the potential to advance the rights of all transgender students in Virginia, and we are proud to stand with him,” said Rebecca Glenberg, legal director of the ACLU of Virginia.

More information about this case is available at www.aclu.org/cases/gg-v-gloucester-county-school-board.

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