Attorneys general support transgender boy in U.S. court case

Published 2:05 pm Saturday, March 4, 2017

Nineteen attorneys general have signed onto a brief to the Supreme Court in support of a transgender teenager who wants to use the boys’ bathroom at his Virginia high school, New York’s chief law enforcement officer said Friday.

The friend-of-the-court brief, filed with the court Thursday night, cites the “shared experience” among the states that allowing transgender people to use bathrooms matching their gender identity creates no public safety, privacy or financial burdens.

The brief supports high school senior Gavin Grimm in a lawsuit against his school board in Virginia’s Gloucester County. Grimm is challenging the board’s policy that prohibits him from using the boys’ bathroom at school, which he said matches his chosen gender.

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“The amici states have important interests in ensuring that their transgender populations, including students, college faculty and other state employees, do not experience indignity and discrimination when they travel to other states,” the brief said.

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for March 28, but the school board is seeking a delay to allow the Trump administration to weigh in. Last week, the administration ended federal protection for transgender students that required schools to allow them to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the court, Neil Gorsuch, still awaits Senate confirmation.

The National Women’s Law Center and a group of education organizations, including the National PTA, National Association of Independent Schools and American School Counselor Association, also announced they have filed briefs supporting Grimm, joining businesses including Apple, IBM, eBay and Williams-Sonoma.

The brief by the attorneys general was written by New York’s Eric Schneiderman and Washington’s Bob Ferguson. Signing on were their counterparts in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and the District of Columbia.