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Warner, Kaine file amicus brief to support rights of transgender students

mark warner tim kaineOn Thursday, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined nearly 200 members of the Senate and the House of Representatives in filing a U.S. Supreme Court brief explaining that transgender and gender non-conforming students are protected from discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

The amicus brief was filed today in the Supreme Court case Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., which could decide whether transgender students have the right to a public education free from discrimination and harassment. In the brief, the Senators and Representatives argue that Title IX—the civil rights law that prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex—clearly protects transgender and gender non-conforming youth.

“Title IX was enacted to protect vulnerable students from discrimination on the basis of sex and guarantee that these at-risk students receive equal educational opportunities,” wrote the lawmakers. “Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ encompasses discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotypes.”

This is the first time the Supreme Court will consider whether transgender students are protected from discrimination by federal civil rights laws. Over the past two years, there have been increasing state-level efforts to undermine nondiscrimination protections for transgender people, and the Senators say a victory in this Supreme Court case is vital to ensuring that all students are safe and discrimination-free learning environment in school.‎

“This brief is a powerful statement of support for Gavin and transgender students across the country. As the brief makes clear, discrimination against trans students is prohibited under federal law. While the Trump administration has shamefully turned its back on these students, we thank the many Members of Congress who are committed – as the ACLU is – to safeguarding the dignity and rights of trans students,” said  ACLU LGBT Project Director James Esseks.

“With transgender students and their families across the country feeling under attack, the voices of leaders like these members of Congress are needed more than ever. As they clearly explain, federal law protects transgender students and schools have a legal and moral duty to support them,” said National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling.

“The Trump Administration was wrong to repeal the transgender education guidance, but the Supreme Court has the final word. Hundreds of thousands of transgender students around the country are looking to the Supreme Court to ensure they are treated with the dignity and respect that all students deserve. As these Members of Congress make clear in their brief, federal law protects these students. We thank these Members for standing up for trans kids,” said Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow.

You can download a full copy of the amicus brief by clicking here.