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Tipsheet

Transgender Students Sue Oklahoma Over Bathroom Law

AP Photo/Bill Sikes

Three students in Oklahoma who identify as “transgender” filed a lawsuit this week over a state law requiring students at certain schools to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their biological sex rather than their “gender identity.”

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The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Oklahoma and Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ legal advocacy group, on behalf of the three trans students. 

In the lawsuit, the students argue that the law, S.B. 615, which went into effect this year, violates the students' constitutional rights and Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination at federally funded schools.

“Plaintiffs bring this action to challenge the legality of recently-enacted SB 615, to preliminarily and permanently enjoin enforcement of SB 615, to obtain declaratory relief regarding SB 615, and to obtain nominal damages on the basis that SB 615 discriminates on its face against students who are transgender, and as applied to each of the Plaintiffs on the basis of their sex, gender identity, and transgender status, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,” the lawsuit reads.

Andrew “Andy” Bridge, one of the students in the lawsuit, is described as a “hard-working, high-achieving student, who enjoys reading, painting, and competing as a Varsity member of the Noble High School Academic Team.” Andy is a biological female who identifies as a trans man.

Mark Miles, another plaintiff, is another biological female who identifies as a boy. Plaintiff Sarah Stiles is a biological male who identifies as a transgender girl. 

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The lawsuit claims that “S.B. 615 deprives Plaintiffs and students who are transgender like them of their rights to equal dignity, liberty and autonomy by branding them as second-class citizens.”

“They [Plaintiffs] are just like every other middle and high school student, teenagers coming of age as they seek to fit in, navigate life’s challenges, obtain support and encouragement, and learn. Just like their peers, Plaintiffs enter their school’s doors each morning filled with dreams for their future careers and lives. And just like their peers, each one of them is entitled to an education without being singled out for discriminatory unequal treatment,” the lawsuit states.

Oklahoma schools that do not abide by the law will have a portion of their state funding cut and could be sued by parents of students at the schools. 

Last month, Townhall reported that a transgender 8-year-old and their parents sued the Tennessee Department of Education over a law prohibiting trans students from using school bathrooms aligning with their gender identity. The student and their parents claimed that the law was “discriminatory.”

Earlier this year, Matt  covered how biological male “transgender” swimmer Will “Lia” Thomas competed on the women’s swim team at University of Pennsylvania after competing on the men’s team in previous seasons.

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In an interview with Daily Mail, one of Thomas’ female teammates said that Thomas used the women’s locker room throughout the season, which was “awkward.” She added that the coaches did not listen to the girls’ concerns over the situation.

“It’s [the locker room] definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” the swimmer told Daily Mail. She added that the swimmers raised concerns over the situation to their coaches.

“Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,” she said. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”

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