On March 2, 2017, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) and Impact Fund, joined by 45 additional organizations, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court inGloucester County School Board v. G.G. The case, brought by 17-year old Gavin Grimm, challenges a school board’s resolution that facially discriminates against transgender students based on sex regarding the use of sex-segregated restrooms. The lawsuit argues the bathroom policy is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment and violates Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools.
On Monday, March 6, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit in light of the Departments of Justice and Education rescinding Title IX guidance clarifying protections tor transgender students. As Shannon Minter of National Center for Lesbian Rights said, because this move is procedural to allow the Fourth Circuit to consider the Department of Education’s new position, the Supreme Court’s decision “should not be seen as sending a negative message in any way,” and “Title IX still fully protects transgender students.” The amicus brief from BALIF and Impact Fund makes clear that federal courts across the country have consistently concluded that discrimination against transgender people violates federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination. The Department of Education’s new, ill-informed position on this issue does not change that fact.
BALIF is proud to be among the many organizations supporting Gavin’s case, including NAACP LDF’s brief on the history of segregation in restrooms and other public accommodations, the brief of school administrators from 31 states and DC, a brief from 101 transgender Americans, and many others.