Friday, January 31, 2014

Transgender Victory In Maine

The Maine Supreme Court has ruled that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls’ restroom at her school violated her rights under Maine’s Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against transgender people. The decision in Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders’ lawsuit Doe v. Clenchy marks the first time a state court has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathrooms that match who they are. Jennifer Levi, GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project Director stated, “This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people. Schools have a responsibility to create a learning environment that meets & balances the needs of all kids & allows every student to succeed. For transgender students this includes access to all school facilities, programs & extracurricular activities in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.” Bennett Klein GLAD Senior Attorney who was co-counsel with Levi in the case added, “A transgender girl is a girl & must be treated as such in all respects, including using the girls’ restroom. This ruling is consistent with what educators & human rights commissions – including the Maine Human Rights Commission -- around the country have concluded.” As we reported in June this case began after officials at an Orono elementary school denied Nicole Maines, a transgender girl who was then in fifth grade, use of the girls’ restroom. The school had previously allowed Nicole to use the girls’ room but reversed course after the misconduct of one male student who followed Nicole into that facility. Read More…
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