The Latest: ACLU Attorney says ruling supports NC lawsuit

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2016 5:52 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a federal appeals court ruling that a Virginia high school discriminated against a transgender teen by forbidding him from using the boys' restroom (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

The lead attorney in a lawsuit challenging a North Carolina law limiting protections for the LGBT community says Tuesday's appeals court ruling affirms a key argument.

ACLU attorney Chris Brook said the ruling makes it clear that the North Carolina law violates Title IX, but he declined to discuss what his legal team's next steps might be.

University of North Carolina law professor Maxine Eichner said the Title IX decision would govern federal court decisions about North Carolina's public schools, but it's not clear how quickly it would be applied.

She said the plaintiffs could seek an order blocking the provisions requiring transgender students in the state's public schools to use bathrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate. Eichner said other provisions of the sweeping North Carolina law fall outside of Title IX, such as those regarding discrimination in workplaces, hotels and restaurants.

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5 p.m.

Gavin Grimm says he was sound asleep at noon Tuesday, making up for a couple of nights of insomnia, when the telephone rang with news: A federal appeals court had ruled in his favor in a lawsuit over restroom access at his Virginia high school.

The transgender 16-year-old said it was the best news he could remember ever receiving, although he's not sure what it means for the immediate future. The Gloucester County School Board could appeal the ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, keeping Grimm out of the boys' restrooms for a while longer. Grimm says he's just going to take things one day at a time.

Grimm was born female but identifies as male and wants to use the boys' restrooms. The appeals court said in a 2-1 ruling that a school board policy barring Grimm from doing so violates the federal law against sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funds.

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4 p.m.

North Carolina's governor says a federal appeals court ruling overturning a Virginia school district policy on restroom use by a transgender student "puts a whole new dynamic" on a state law he signed addressing bathroom use and limiting LGBT discrimination protections.

Gov. Pat McCrory spoke to reporters Tuesday just after a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined the Gloucester County School Board policy requiring students to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological gender is discriminatory.

The North Carolina legislature approved legislation similar to the policy for schools, public universities and government buildings. Fourth Circuit rulings also apply to North Carolina.

McCrory anticipates the Virginia case will be further appealed but says he'll implement whatever the outcome is from the court rulings. He says the question will be whether North Carolina will have to comply with the policy during the appeal.

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1:35 p.m.

A federal appeals court has overturned a policy barring a transgender student from using the boys' restrooms at his Virginia high school.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Gloucester County School Board policy is discriminatory. A federal judge had rejected Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm's sex discrimination claim.

The appeals court's ruling establishes legal precedent in the five states in the 4th Circuit, including North Carolina, which faces a lawsuit challenging a new state law requiring transgender public school students to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate.

Grimm was born female but identifies as male. After complaints, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological gender.