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District Court Denies Appeal over Transgender Rights Ruling

Gavin Grimm
The Advocate

Transgender high schooler Gavin Grimm can use the bathroom matching his gender identity now that his school district has lost their chance at an appeal.

District court judges ruled 2-1 that they would not hear an appeal on a lower court's decision to allow a Virginia transgender to use the bathroom matching his gender identity.

Student Gavin Grimm, who was born biologically female, was kept from using the boys' restroom at his high school in Gloucester. He, his family, and the school board went to court, and Grimm won. The school district appealed to the Fourth District Court, where the panel of judges refused to hear the case.

The schools are now hoping to get the full court to hear their case--or even go to the Supreme Court.

"Now that the Fourth Circuit's decision is final, I hope my school board will finally do the right thing and let me go back to using the boys' restroom again," Grimm said in a statement. "Transgender kids should not have to sue their own school boards just for the ability to use the same restrooms as everyone else."

The trajectory of Grimm's case could affect other transgender-rights legislation currently rocking the nation. The U.S. Department of Justice is suing North Carolina for violating Title IX of the Civil Rights Act--the same title Grimm's case used to justify the young man's access to school bathrooms--in regard to the state's discriminatory HB2 law.

Eleven states, led by Texas, are countersuing the Justice and Education departments over the Obama administration's interpretation of civil rights law to include gender identity. Mississippi's attorney general refused to join the suit, specifically citing the Virginia case and waiting on its outcome.

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