A transgender man who challenged his Virginia school district’s bathroom policy has won his case.
U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Aug. 9 ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, who in 2015 filed a federal lawsuit against a Gloucester County School District policy that prohibited students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that did not correspond with their “biological gender.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Allen ruled the district discriminated against Grimm when it enacted the policy.
Grimm was a sophomore at Gloucester County High School when he filed his lawsuit. He said in a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union, who represented him, that it is “such a relief to achieve this closure and vindication from the court after four years of fighting not just for myself, but for trans youth across America.”
“I promise to continue to advocate for as long as it takes for everyone to be able to live their authentic lives freely, in public, and without harassment and discrimination,” said Grimm.
The U.S. Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case in March 2017. The justices remanded it to the 4th Circuit after President Trump rescinded guidance to public schools that said Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires them to allow trans students to use restrooms based on their gender identity.
Media reports indicate the Gloucester County School Board is expected to appeal Allen’s ruling.
“Every student should feel safe at school, regardless of gender identity,” said Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley in a statement. “Transgender students are covered by Title IX and the United States Constitution and are entitled to the same rights and protections as every other student.”
“With the Trump-Pence administration’s barrage of attacks on LGBTQ people in this country, including against students, we are pleased that yet another federal court decision has reaffirmed legal rights and dignity of transgender people,” added Oakley. “Congratulations to Gavin Grimm and the American Civil Liberties Union on this milestone victory.”
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.