Tuesday, April 19, 2016

QUEER QUOTE: Democrats Praise 4th U.S. Circuit Ruling In Favor Of Transgender Student

The 4th U.S. Circuit has upheld the Obama Administration's Education Department non-discrimination policy in a dispute with a Virginia school district over the rights of a transgender student to access education according to their preferred gender identity. The ruling is in the case of transgender male student Gavin Grimm in his lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board, who has enacted a policy that said that every student had to access restrooms and changing facilities based on their "biological sex at birth" and not their gender identity.

Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed reports:
The decision is a big victory for the Obama administration, which weighed in at the appeals court to support Grimm’s challenge, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which has been pressing the case for protecting LGBT people under existing civil rights laws since 2012.  
The appeals court had heard the arguments in January, and Tuesday’s ruling is the first such ruling on the Obama administration’s policy — which it also has advanced regarding the sex discrimination ban under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 
Among the states included in the 4th Circuit is North Carolina, which recently passed a law limiting restroom use in government facilities — including schools and universities — to that which corresponds with a person’s “biological sex.” The ACLU, which is backing Grimm’s suit, also has brought suit against the North Carolina law.
The Democratic National Committee sent the following statement praising the ruling:
“This court victory affirms that there is no commonsense reason to bar transgender students from using the restroom that aligns with their gender identity and that doing so is discriminatory and harmful. This ruling sets precedent in five states, including North Carolina, where Republican legislators and the Republican governor have embraced the exact type of discrimination that the court today has overruled. Republican legislators who continue to push anti-LGBT measures and the Republican presidential candidates who fan the flames of discrimination with ignorant rhetoric have been exposed by this ruling for what they’re truly peddling. Just this week, one of the Republican presidential candidates told victims of discrimination to ‘get over it.’ Well, it’s time for the Republican Party to get over their anti-LGBT bias and join the rest of the country in embracing the full equality of every American.”

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