ACLU intervenes in transgender student restroom access case

CASE BACKGROUND

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota along with the ACLU filed a motion to intervene on behalf of a transgender student in a lawsuit that seeks to bar trans students from using locker rooms consistent with the student's gender identity.

A transgender girl, identified as Jane Doe to protect her privacy, is a sophomore in high school at a public school in Virginia, MN. Last year she played on the girls' basketball and track team, and she currently plays on the girls' volleyball team. A small group of parents, acting through an organization they have named "Privacy Matters", have filed a complaint against Doe's school district and the U.S. Department of Education for protecting Doe from discrimination when using the locker room.

The lawsuit seeks to segregate Doe from her peers and prevent her from using the girls' locker room and singles her out from the rest of the team using misleading innuendo and salacious phrasing to depict the ordinary behavior of a teenage girl dancing with the rest of her friends as threatening or scandalous just because she is transgender.

Doe’s brief argues that she has a right to be free from discrimination on the basis of her sex under Title IX, a federal law which prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding, and under the Constitution.  The brief also explains that using the girls’ locker room and restroom is a critical part of Doe’s medical treatment and has had a substantial positive effect on Doe’s health and well-being. 

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in September of 2016. This case is similar to lawsuits filed around the country that are trying to prevent transgender students from using the locker rooms and restrooms that match the student’s gender identity.  

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Stinson Leonard Street

Date filed

September 7, 2016

Court

Federal District Court

Status

Dismissed

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