Wednesday, November 21, 2012

GLAD Fights For LGBT Youth

Though Maine recently passed gay marriage there are still LGBT battles to be fought in “The Pine Tree State". On Transgender Day of Remembrance when people from all across the globe pause to remember those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence, a Maine trial court judge dismissed the case of a transgender girl who experienced discrimination & harassment at her Orono school. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), which is representing the student in the lawsuit, announced it will immediately appeal the decision. Ben Klein GLAD Senior Attorney stated, “Our client Susan Doe is a transgender girl who was made an outcast by school officials & was subjected to severe bullying over the course of two years simply because of who she is, in violation of Maine anti-discrimination law. The judge is wrong on the law & ignored critical facts in making his decision.” GLAD filed the lawsuit, known as Doe v. Clenchy after officials at an Orono elementary school denied a transgender girl the use of the girls’ restroom & other facilities & restricted her participation in school activities. The school had previously allowed Doe to use the girls’ restroom without incident until one of her male classmates began making it an issue with coaching from his grandfather. Doe also suffered a campaign of harassment & bullying for over two school years at the hands of this classmate who the school failed to discipline. Eventually the bullying got so bad the parents were forced to withdraw their daughter & her twin brother from the Orono school system & move them to another part of the state where they could go to school quietly & safely. This should be interesting since Maine has a statewide law prohibiting discrimination against people based on gender identity & expression in all areas, including public education & public accommodations. Updates to Come…:)

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