Court overturns Virginia school’s transgender bathroom rule

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A federal appeals court has overturned a policy barring a transgender student from using the boys’ restrooms at his Virginia high school.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Gloucester County School Board policy is discriminatory. A federal judge had rejected Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm’s sex discrimination claim.

The appeals court’s ruling establishes legal precedent in the five states in the 4th Circuit, including North Carolina, which faces a lawsuit challenging a new state law requiring transgender public school students to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate.

Grimm was born female but identifies as male. After complaints, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological gender.

Senate Leader Phil Berger issued the following statement in response to the 4th Circuit U.S> Court of Appeals ruling:

“People need to wake up:  Roy Cooper, Barack Obama and two un-elected federal judges are on the verge of completing their radical social re-engineering of our society by forcing middle school-aged girls to share school locker rooms with boys. House Bill 2 was our effort to stop this insanity, and I hope this proves the bathroom safety bill has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with protecting women’s privacy and keeping men out of girls’ bathrooms.”

Judge Paul Niemeyer, who disagrees with the ruling, offered this dissenting opinion:

“This unprecedented holding overrules custom, culture, and the very demands inherent in human nature for privacy and safety, which the separation of such facilities is designed to protect. More particularly, it also misconstrues the clear language of Title IX and its regulations. And finally, it reaches an unworkable and illogical result,”

“This holding completely tramples on all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes…”

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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