Supreme Court Sends Historic Transgender Equality Case Back to Lower Court 

Order follows Trump administration’s withdrawal of nonbinding federal guidance on how to protect transgender student

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-9-24-12-amWASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Supreme Court announced that it will not hear G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, the historic transgender equality case on behalf of a Virginia transgender boy named Gavin Grimm. In light of President Trump’s decision to rescind guidance instructing schools on how to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as it relates to transgender students, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration. It had been scheduled for oral argument on March 28.

Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, released the following statement:

“It’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court will no longer have its first opportunity to hear the full story of who transgender Americans are and why their families, friends, neighbors, and coworkers love them. This announcement speaks volumes to the ways that President Trump’s actions are already having devastating consequences for transgender youth across the country. All students, including transgender students, deserve to participate fully and succeed in school, and to feel safe and respected while doing so. We are disappointed in this delay to hear Gavin’s important and urgent experience of having been singled out for discrimination at his school because he is transgender. It has taken tremendous courage for a young transgender boy like Gavin to speak out so publicly. But every day Americans are continuing to grow in their understanding of what it means to be transgender, the work will continue, and fairness will win. We look forward to continuing to support Gavin and the ACLU in their litigation efforts.”
Gavin is challenging a policy in his local school district that singles out transgender students for discrimination and prohibits him from using the boys’ restroom at his school. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Gavin last year. Gavin is being represented by the ACLU. He has spent nearly half of his high school experience leading this national conversation.

As of just last week, support poured in for Gavin from thousands of amici signers around the country in friend-of-the-court briefs from major medical associations, unions representing more than one million teachers, national religious leaders, school administrators and educators, elected officials including city attorneys and nearly 200 members of Congress, large and small businesses, transgender youth and adults and their families, and more. For a full list of all the briefs, visit https://www.aclu.org/cases/gg-v-gloucester-county-school-board.

School districts across the country encompassing millions of students have had protections in place for transgender students for years without incident, including Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest public school system in California and the second largest public school district in the United States, serving 655,000 students. Those schools’ policies have not changed as a result of the Trump administration’s actions — they can and are continuing to protect transgender students.

As Gavin’s case returns to the 4th Circuit, similar cases regarding the fundamental rights of transgender students in schools are also pending before the 3rd Circuit, the 6th Circuit, the 7th Circuit, and the 8th Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.


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