WASHINGTON, D. C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine has joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in support of a transgender Virginia student – known as G.G. – who is suing the Gloucester County School Board for discrimination.
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case to the Fourth Circuit. That court will hear the case and determine whether the Gloucester County School Board’s policy prohibiting transgender boys and girls from using restrooms that other boys and girls use unlawfully discriminates against transgender students.
“While the District has enacted some of the strongest legal protections against gender identity discrimination, all students — regardless of where they live — should be able to learn in dignity and safety,” said Attorney General Racine. “We join this case because we believe it is especially important to stand up for the rights of vulnerable populations like transgender students, who experience harassment at far higher rates than their peers.”
The attorneys general argue in the amicus brief that the Gloucester County School Board’s policy violates Title IX of the federal Education Amendments Act of 1972 by denying transgender boys and girls access to the same common restrooms other boys and girls may use – therefore discriminating on the basis of sex. Moreover, the attorneys general contend that ensuring the civil rights of transgender people – including by allowing them access to the restrooms consistent with their gender identity – benefits all, while creating no public safety or personal privacy threat and imposing no meaningful financial burden.
“If entities receiving Title IX funds are allowed to discriminate in this way, transgender people will be denied equality in defendant’s schools and in many other places. The amici States have important interests in ensuring that their transgender populations do not experience indignity and discrimination when they travel to other States,” the attorneys general argue.
The amicus brief was authored by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and signed by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District, Hawai‘i, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Vermont.
The amicus brief follows other steps Attorney General Racine has taken to protect the civil rights of transgender individuals – including opposing the Trump Administration’s recent decision to reverse Department of Education guidance that protected transgender students across the country; and filing friend-of-the-court briefs in a federal lawsuit opposing an anti-LGBT law in North Carolina and in a Texas case defending the Department of Education guidance.