Appeals court denies hearing in VA transgender bathroom case

Published: May. 31, 2016 at 8:48 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2016 at 9:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond's Federal Court of Appeals denied a request by the Gloucester school system for a rehearing of a controversial transgender bathroom case, which means the case will likely next head to the US Supreme Court.

The school system had asked 15 federal appeals judges to decide on the case of Gloucester High School junior Gavin Grimm, who was born as a female but identifies as a male. Grimm is seeking to use the boys' restrooms, but the School Board has barred him from doing so.

"Now that the Fourth Circuit's decision is final, I hope my school board will finally do the right thing and let me go back to using the boys' restroom again," said Gavin Grimm in a press release from the ACLU. "Transgender kids should not have to sue their own school boards just for the ability to use the same restrooms as everyone else."

In April, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Grimm, but the school system issued an appeal putting the case on hold until the court decides whether or not to hear the case. Tuesday's ruling now means the school system's next possible recourse is an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Grimm says he is "fighting this fight because no kid should have to think so hard about performing a basic and private function of being alive."

Grimm was barred from using the boys' restrooms by the School Board in December 2014. The board adopted a policy requiring students to use either the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender or a private, single-stall restroom.

Grimm claims the policy "would further alienate and stigmatize me by forcing me to use separate restrooms from all of the other students at school."

The School Board argues that anyone can use the unisex bathroom and there are privacy protection concerns with letting transgender students use a bathroom that is not of their biological gender.


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