RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) is criticizing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for opposing a Virginia transgender male student’s challenge to his high school’s discriminatory bathroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers. Gov. McCrory has said he will sign on to a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, that is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
“It’s shameful that Gov. McCrory has gone out of his way to launch a mean-spirited political attack on such vulnerable students,” said Sarah Preston, the ACLU-NC’s acting Executive Director. “Students who are transgender should be treated with respect and compassion – not discriminated against because of who they are. The ACLU stands up for the rights of all students to be free from discrimination, and we urge Gov. McCrory to rethink his misguided political attack on transgender youth.”
In 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board for adopting a discriminatory bathroom policy that effectively expels trans students from communal restrooms and requires them to use “alternative private” restroom facilities
The case was filed on behalf of Gavin Grimm, a transgender male student at Gloucester High School. The lawsuit argues the bathroom policy is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment and violates Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools.
Before he began his sophomore year, Gavin and his mother notified school officials that he is transgender so he could socially transition in various aspects of his life. With permission from school administrators, Gavin used the boys’ restroom for almost two months without any incident. But after receiving complaints from some parents and residents of Gloucester County, the school board adopted the new policy, despite warnings from the ACLU.
From the first time he stood up in front of his school board and a room full of hostile adults, Gavin’s message has been simple: “All I want to do is be a normal child and use the restroom in peace.”