Federal appeals court won't reconsider Virginia school's transgender bathroom rule

Posted May 31, 2016

— In a procedural step on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday declined to revisit its April decision in favor of a Virginia transgender high school student's right to use the restroom of his choice.

A three-judge panel of the same court ruled in April that a policy that requires transgender students use "alternative, private" facilities is discriminatory.

The Virginia case has been closely watched by public schools and transgender-rights activists across the country, and it is expected to eventually wind up before the Supreme Court.

North Carolina, which faces a lawsuit challenging a new state law requiring transgender people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to the sex listed on their birth certificate, is part of the 4th Circuit and must follow rulings issued by the court. North Carolina's law, commonly referred to as House Bill 2, also bars cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances that provide protections for gay and transgender people, which has prompted a national backlash. Businesses and politicians have announced boycotts of North Carolina, and legal challenges ensure that the wedge issue will dominate Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's re-election campaign.

McCrory disagreed with the ruling when it was issued in April, calling it "pretty aggressive action." Schools should be allowed to set their own bathroom policies, he said, including making special arrangements as needed for transgender students.


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  • Judy Loftin Jun 1, 2016
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    Wake up people! Most transgender men consider themselves lesbians because they are attracted to women. Do you really want them in your teenagers bathrooms, showers, and sleeping with them on field trips!

  • Alex Wilson May 31, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    and thanks to the Do Nothing Republicans in the Senate for not voting on Garland, the SCOTUS will vote 4 to 4 and make it the law of the land, since the lower courts rules apply in a tie.

  • Rebecca Caldwell May 31, 2016
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    I swear, we should change our state motto to "standing on the wrong side of history," because that's about all we've done since the Republicans took over.

  • Demute Sainte May 31, 2016
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    Off to the Supreme Court it goes...... along with 12 other States, many county school districts, and hundreds of thousands of parents.