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Federal appeals court rules denying transgender student access to bathroom of choice was unlawful
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Federal appeals court rules denying transgender student access to bathroom of choice was unlawful

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled on Wednesday that it was unlawful for a Virginia school board to deny a transgender student access to the bathroom that corresponded with his gender identity. The court determined that preventing the student from accessing the bathroom of his choice was a form of sex discrimination.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2015, arose when Gavin Grimm was denied use of the boys’ restroom at a local public high school in Richmond, Virginia. Grimm, now a college student, was born as a female, but identifies as male.

In the initial suit, Grimm argued the school board’s policy denying his access to the boys’ restroom violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and constituted discrimination on the basis of sex. His lawsuit was later amended to add the board’s refusal to amend his educational records to reflect his gender identity.

Judge Henry Franklin Floyd wrote the decision, citing the recent landmark Supreme Court case that extended protection against sexual discrimination to LGBTQ individuals. In his opinion, Floyd stated that due to the recent ruling by the Supreme Court, “[the court has] little difficulty in holding that a bathroom policy precluding Grimm from using the boys restrooms discriminated against him.”