Last week a U.S. District Court denied a motion by the Gloucester County School Board to dismiss Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit against them. You might recall that Grimm is a trans man whose school forced him to use a unisex bathroom rather than the one matching his gender identity — a form of sex discrimination forbidden by federal and constitutional law. But while Grimm’s case can now get an official ruling in a district court (and maybe even the U.S. Supreme Court one day), his is just one of several current transgender bathroom court cases involving trans bathroom rights. Let’s take a look at the others.
In the case of Hobaugh v. Montana, the ACLU is representing eight individuals challenging a proposed Montana ballot initiative that’d require trans people to use the bathrooms matching the gender listed on their birth certificates.
Such transphobic bathroom ballot measures typically characterize trans people as cross-dressers and sexual predators, lies which increase violence against trans people. Such laws also punish poorer trans people who lack the money to change the gender listed on their birth certificates. If the ACLU loses, then the ballot measure would be voted on this November.
Two other cases in Oregon and Pennsylvania both involve parents suing school districts who have policies allowing trans students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity. The parents argue that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids sex discrimination, only applies to discrimination based on a person’s biological sex assigned at birth rather than trans person’s gender identity.
But while the Oregon case (Parents for Privacy v. Dallas School District) was filed in federal court in November 2017, the Pennsylvania case (Doe v. Boyerton) is already at the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, meaning two things: First, its ruling will affect Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. And second, it could set up a Supreme Court challenge on this issue far quicker than Gavin Grimm’s case will.
Do you think these transgender bathroom court cases will be successful? Sound off in the comments.
Featured image by Scout Tufankjian via ACLU