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Karl A. Racine
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Attorney General Racine Joins Amicus Brief to Defend Rights of Virginia Transgender Student in Supreme Court Case

Friday, March 3, 2017
Multistate Brief Cites Significant Harm Challenged Policies Cause to Transgender Students

Rob Marus, Communications Director: (202) 724-5646; [email protected]
Marrisa Geller, Public Affairs Specialist: (202) 724-5448; [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine has joined a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court and signed by the District and 18 states in support of a transgender student – known as “G.G.” – who has sued his Virginia school board over a discriminatory policy that prevents him from using the restroom that conforms to his gender identity. The attorneys general argue that discrimination on the basis of gender identity causes real and significant harm to both transgender people and the states themselves.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case, Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., on March 28th. The Court will consider whether the Gloucester County School Board’s policy prohibiting transgender boys and girls from using restrooms that other boys and girls use discriminates against transgender students on the basis of sex, in violation of Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972.

“Research makes clear that transgender students experience harassment, assault, depression and other harms at rates far higher than those among the general population, and we filed this amicus brief to stand up for the right of every student in every part of our nation to live in dignity and security,” Attorney General Racine said. “While students and other transgender residents of the District enjoy some of the nation’s strongest legal protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity, the case of G.G. reminds us that hundreds of thousands of transgender men and women across our country don’t enjoy those same basic protections.”

The amicus brief, filed last night, was co-authored by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and signed by a total of 19 attorneys general representing New York, Washington, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Vermont.

A copy of the brief is attached, and it is also available here.

“The amici States’ shared experience demonstrates that protecting transgender people from discrimination benefits all members of the public. And contrary to the petitioner’s claims, our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of transgender people—including by allowing them access to common restrooms consistent with their gender identity—creates no public safety or personal privacy threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden,” the brief states.

Additionally, the amici States write, it’s critical that entities receiving Title IX funds, like Gloucester County schools, not be allowed to discriminate in this way – which could open the door to denying transgender people equality in other ways and places.

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.