U.S. Supreme Court Decides to Hear Gavin Grimm's Case

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October 28, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court today announced it will hear a case brought by the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia that adopted a discriminatory restroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers and bars high school senior Gavin Grimm from using the restroom that matches his gender.

Rachel B. Tiven, CEO of Lambda Legal, released the following statement:

Weeks ago, a fun night with friends at a football game became a nightmare for Gavin Grimm, when he realized the stadium didn't have a bathroom he was "allowed" to use. Today, Gavin found out that he will have his day in court — the Supreme Court.

While Gavin will be barred from the boys’ bathroom his whole senior year, he is brave enough to speak out so other kids aren’t picked on in the future. His case isn’t just about which bathroom he can use, it’s about whether trans and queer kids are welcome in school. As Gavin put it: "I hope the justices can see me and the rest of the transgender community for people — just people — and rule accordingly." We do too.

Lambda Legal the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina — the LGBT advocates challenging North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (H.B. 2), the state law that bans transgender people from the restrooms that match their gender — released the following statement:

We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will affirm the sound decision from the Fourth Circuit and recognize the profound harms from rules that ban transgender individuals from using the restroom. For Gavin and other transgender students who are barred from using appropriate restrooms, every day these exclusionary and discriminatory policies are in place is extremely harmful. We will continue to fight H.B. 2 on behalf of transgender people across North Carolina.

Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina and the law firm of Jenner & Block are challenging H.B. 2 in federal court on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians.

In August, a federal district court blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing the discriminatory law against three transgender plaintiffs, finding that the challengers are likely to succeed in their argument that the law violates Title IX. The groups are appealing that ruling to seek broader relief for all transgender people in North Carolina.

The ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuit, Carcaño v. McCrory, was filed days after H.B. 2 was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by Governor Pat McCrory.

In the lawsuit, the groups argue that through the law, North Carolina sends a purposeful message that LGBT people are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the privacy, respect, and protections afforded to others in the state and that transgender individuals are shut out of public life by forcing them to use restrooms and changing facilities that don’t match who they are.

The complaint argues that H.B. 2 violates Title IX by discriminating against students and school employees on the basis of sex.

It also argues the law is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment by discriminating on the basis of sex and sexual orientation, and violates the privacy and medical decision making rights of transgender people.

Read the press release.