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Post date: March 3 2017

A.G. Schneiderman Leads SCOTUS Amicus Brief In Transgender Rights Case, Gloucester Schools v. G.G.

Signed By 19 AG’s, Brief Makes Strong Case In Support Of Transgender Student Discriminated Against By Gloucester County Schools

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of 19 Attorneys General in filing  an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, in support of a transgender student – known as G.G. – who is suing the Gloucester County School Board for discrimination. 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, looking at whether the Gloucester County (Virginia) 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.

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

“No student, no matter how they identify, should fear discrimination or bullying when they go to school, and it’s incumbent on school districts to ensure that’s the case,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Providing transgender students access to the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s the law. My office won’t hesitate to act to make sure all students are treated with dignity and fairness.”

Read the brief 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 taken to protect the civil rights of transgender individuals – including guidance issued by Attorney General Schneiderman and the New York State Education Department, making clear that they will use all the existing tools of federal, state, and local law to ensure transgender students are provided equal access in their schools.

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