The United States Supreme Court has just announced that it will interpret a case involving transgender rights. The issue of transgender discrimination has gained national attention in the last several months as an increasing number of state laws and federal actions have highlighted transgender discrimination. Recently, North Carolina passed a law requiring people who are transgender to use bathrooms in government buildings that correspond with the gender assigned at birth, rather than the gender they identify with. This law has sparked national protests and outrage. Supporters of the law often claim that it will create a situation where men may pose as transgender in an effort to prey on women and children in bathrooms. However, this myth has been widely debunked. Statistics show that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to their identity has not increased bathroom assaults and other incidents. Instead, denying transgender people bathroom access may constitute transgender discrimination.
In the case to be heard before the Supreme Court,Gloucester School Board v. G.G., the justices will determine how to interpret a federal regulation that prohibits schools from receiving federal funds if they discriminate on the basis of sex. The Court will evaluate whether sex discrimination extends to and includes gender identity discrimination. In this instance, the plaintiff – Gavin Grimm – was designated a female at birth, but identifies as male. The local school board adopted a policy requiring students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender assigned at birth, and those with gender identity issues to use a private bathroom. Singling a person out based on a particular characteristic, and denying them the opportunities afforded others – be it on the basis of race, color, gender, or age – can be a humiliating, upsetting, and degrading experience. In his lawsuit, Grimm noted that his bathroom use became a public spectacle, so he did what he could to avoid urinating during school.
The Supreme Court will hear this case during its next session which will run until late June/early July 2017. For more information or if you have suffered any form of discrimination, please contact the dedicated Atlanta discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.