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Lambda Legal Condemns Discriminatory Bathroom Bill Introduced in Illinois

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January 20, 2016
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Christopher Clark
It is an embarrassment that a bill targeting transgender students was introduced in a state like Illinois, a state that has been at the forefront of equality for LGBT people.
 
HB 4474 is a discriminatory bill that would ban schools from allowing transgender students from using the facilities that correspond to their gender identity. The bill also encourages “bathroom policing” by providing a complaint process for other students or their parents who want to target and harass transgender students.
 
This bill is in direct violation of federal law. All students, including transgender students, are protected from sex-based discrimination under Title IX and Title IV. If passed, this bill would inevitably subject the state to expensive litigation and would not withstand review in the courts under prevailing federal law.
 
Aside from being discriminatory and illegal, this bill is just bad school policy. A safe and welcoming environment creates a healthy space for all students to learn. Schools that have implemented trans-inclusive bathroom policies have seen no incidents of inappropriate behavior as a result and report that respecting transgender students’ identities protects the privacy and safety of all students.