Virginia transgender student wins bathroom battle after Supreme Court rejects appeal

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The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Virginia school board’s appeal to reinstate its transgender bathroom ban.

Over two dissenting votes, the justices left in place lower court rulings that found the school board’s barring of a transgender student from using a high school bathroom was unconstitutional.

The court decided not to hear the Gloucester County School Board’s appeal of a 2020 ruling that the transgender student, Gavin Grimm, is protected under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in education. 

​Grimm, a transgender male, sued the school board in 2015 when officials at his high school banned him from using the boys’ bathroom and urged him to use a unisex bathroom or one that corresponded to his gender assigned at birth, female. 

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito voted to hear the board’s appeal.

Seven years ago, Grimm was barred from using the boys’ restroom when he was a 15-year-old student at Gloucester High School. He sued a year later, and his case has worked its way through the courts ever since.

After learning that the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, Grimm, now 22, said his long court battle is over. “We won,” he tweeted. “Honored to have been part of this victory,” he added.

David Corrigan, an attorney for the school board, did not immediately respond to email and voicemail messages seeking comment.

In its petition asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, the school board argued that its bathroom policy poses a “pressing federal question of national importance.”

The board argued previously that federal laws protect against discrimination based on sex, not gender identity. Because Grimm had not undergone sex reassignment surgery and still had female genitalia, the board’s position has been that he remained anatomically a female.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Grimm in his years-long lawsuit against Gloucester, argued that federal law makes it clear transgender students are protected from discrimination.

With Post wires

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