BOSTON – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey joined an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a transgender student, who is suing a school in Gloucester County, Virginia for discrimination.
The amicus brief, signed by 19 attorneys general and filed Thursday night, argues that discrimination on the basis of gender identity causes real and significant harm to both transgender people and the states themselves.
The plaintiff – whose name is Gavin Grimm or G.G. – sued the Gloucester County School Board two years ago after it barred him from using the boys’ bathroom.
“In Massachusetts, we took action to pass strong state laws that prohibit discrimination in our schools, and those critical protections remain in place for our students,” Healey said in a statement.
“Under Title IX, schools across this country have an obligation to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. The transgender community has suffered discrimination, harassment and inadequate legal protections for too long, and I am confident that the Supreme Court will affirm their rights,” said Healey.
The case, Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., is scheduled to be heard before the Supreme Court on March 28. The court will decide whether the school board’s policy prohibiting transgender boys and girls from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity discriminates against transgender students on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX – a federal law that requires schools to prevent discrimination against students in any federally-funded education program or activity.
The attorneys general argue in their brief that it’s critical that entities receiving Title IX funds not be allowed to discriminate in this way – which could open the door to denying transgender people equality in other ways and places.
“The amici States strongly support the right of transgender people – individuals whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth – to live with dignity, be free from discrimination, and have equal access to employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and other necessities of life. Discrimination against transgender people has no legitimate basis, and serves only to injure a group that is feared for being different. It harms transgender people at work, at school, and in other settings, causing tangible economic, emotional, and health consequences,” the brief states.
The amicus brief follows many steps taken by the AG’s Office to protect the civil rights of transgender individuals.