(Washington, DC, June 30, 2015)—Today, the Department of Justice affirmed that Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. Earlier this month, G.G., a transgender boy in Virginia sued his school district for denying him access to the boys’ restroom and is seeking a court order requiring the school to allow him to use the boys’ restroom before the new school year begins.
The U. S. Department of Justice filed a brief urging the court to grant that relief because denying him access to the restroom violates the school district’s obligations under Title IX. The brief expresses the federal government’s long-held view that Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students, a position it has previously taken in Title IX guidance documents and enforcement actions.
Statement from National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Staff Attorney and lead attorney in Student v. Arcadia Unified School District Asaf Orr:
“We commend the Department of Justice for taking the steps necessary to uphold the promise of Title IX and ensure that transgender students are affirmed and supported in school. Allowing schools to discriminate by forcing transgender students to use a separate restroom is demeaning and exposes them to relentless harassment and abuse from peers. The federal government’s position is not only consistent with decades of legal precedent, but also the experiences of many school districts throughout the country that are implementing inclusive policies without incident. As those districts have learned, affirming a transgender student’s gender identity is an important part of creating a safe and inclusive school where all students can thrive.”