Supreme Court Once Again Affirms Trans Right to Public Accommodations

Supreme Court Trans Rights
Supreme Court Trans Rights are Human Rights

Supreme Court Trans Rights

Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear yet another case in which a lower court had ruled in favor of transgender student rights.

In this latest instance, SCOTUS declined to take up the case brought by a small group of parents opposed to an Oregon school district rule allowing transgender students unfettered access to public accommodations.

Elliot Yoder came out as transgender to his teachers and family at the start of the 2015-16 school year as a freshman at Dallas High School. Following that, a small group of students created a hostile educational environment for Elliot. They testified at public meetings of both the city council and school board against his full participation at school and use of public school facilities and implying that he might be assaulted if he were to use the boys’ locker room.

Monday the Supreme Court left in place a lower court ruling that threw out a lawsuit against Dallas School District No. 2 in rural western Oregon. The plaintiffs had argued that the policy violated students’ rights to privacy and religious freedom under the U.S. Constitution as well as a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.

A transgender person’s right to use public accommodations is constitutionally guaranteed.

“A policy that allows transgender students to use school bathroom and locker facilities that match their self-identified gender in the same manner that cisgender students utilize those facilities does not infringe Fourteenth Amendment privacy or parental rights or First Amendment free exercise rights, nor does it create actionable sex harassment under Title IX,” Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in the February decision for Parents for Privacy v. William P. Barr et al.

They stood up so we could sit down.

This affirmation of trans people’s right to public accommodations follows on the heels of the 2020 Supreme Court ruling that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Protects Trans and Gay people in the workplace.

Case law is everything.

Planet Trans Man of The Year 2020, Chase Strangio, deputy director for trans justice with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT &; HIV Project, said with its decision Monday, the high court has “once again said that transgender youth are not a threat to other students.”

“The decision not to take this case is an important and powerful message to trans and non-binary youth that they deserve to share space with and enjoy the benefits of school alongside their non-transgender peers,” Strangio said in a statement. “We will continue to fight in courts, in legislatures, and in our families and communities to ensure that all trans people feel safe and belong.”

The outgoing discrimination administration has failed to erase us.

In cases dating back to the Compton Cafeteria Riots judges have increasingly ruled in favor of trans and gay rights. Trump thought he could change that by installing judges he thought would feel indebted to him and rule against LGBT people.

This has proven to be a losing strategy, but it doesn’t mean that hate groups will simply give up trying. We will undoubtedly have to stand up for trans rights in the future.


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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender