Judge: Trans­gen­der teen like civil right icons

Com­pares to those who re­fused to ac­cept in­jus­tice

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - BY ALANNA DURKIN RICHER

RICH­MOND | An ap­peals court judge on Fri­day com­pared a Vir­ginia teen who sued his school board for the right to use the boys bath­room to civil and hu­man ac­tivists through­out his­tory who have “re­fused to ac­cept qui­etly the in­jus­tices that were per­pe­trated against them.”

Judge An­dre M. Davis of the U.S. Court of Ap­peals for the 4th Cir­cuit used an in­con­se­quen­tial rul­ing in Gavin Grimm’s case to pen an opin­ion hail­ing the 17-year-old as a cham­pion for trans­gen­der rights, com­par­ing him to such icons as the Vir­ginia cou­ple that fought to over­turn the ban on in­ter­ra­cial mar­riage.

“To­day, G.G. adds his name to the list of plain­tiffs whose strug­gle for jus­tice has been de­layed and re­buffed; as Dr. King has re­minded us, how­ever, ‘the arc of the moral uni­ver­sal is long but it bends to­ward jus­tice.’ G.G.’s jour­ney is de­layed, but not fin­ished,” Judge Davis wrote, re­fer­ring to a quote from Martin Luther King.

Judge Henry F. Floyd joined Judge Davis’ opin­ion. Both judges were nom­i­nated by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

David Cor­ri­gan, an at­tor­ney for the Glouces­ter County School Board, de­clined to com­ment. The school board ar­gues that al­low­ing Gavin to use the boys re­stroom im­per­ils the pri­vacy rights of its stu­dents.

Gavin was born fe­male but iden­ti­fies as male. He was al­lowed to use the boys re­strooms at the school for sev­eral weeks in 2014.

But af­ter some par­ents com­plained, the school board adopted a pol­icy re­quir­ing stu­dents to use ei­ther the re­stroom that cor­re­sponds with their bi­o­log­i­cal gen­der or a private, sin­gle-stall re­stroom.

His case is back in the Rich­mond-based 4th Cir­cuit af­ter the U.S. Supreme Court de­clined to take it up when Pres­i­dent Trump re­voked guid­ance from the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion on trans­gen­der bath­room ac­cess.

The pre­vi­ous guid­ance said trans­gen­der stu­dents should be al­lowed to use the bath­room of their choice.

The 4th Cir­cuit on Fri­day de­nied Gavin’s re­quest to hold oral ar­gu­ments in May to fa­cil­i­tate a de­ci­sion by his June grad­u­a­tion. It also for­mally va­cated a pre­lim­i­nary in­junc­tion that or­dered Gavin’s school to let him use the boys re­stroom.

The or­der had been put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court, so Gavin has not been able to use the boys re­stroom dur­ing his se­nior year and Fri­day’s rul­ing doesn’t change any­thing.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Glouces­ter County High School se­nior Gavin Grimm, a trans­gen­der teen who sued his school board to use the boys bath­room, was hailed as a cham­pion for trans­gen­der rights by U.S. Ap­peals Court Judge An­dre M. Davis.

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