The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a trans teen denied the right to use facilities matching his gender identity, the first time the high court has tackled the issue of transgender rights.
The eight justices will determine whether Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old student at Gloucester High School in Virginia, is protected by Title IX of the federal Education Amendments Act of 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on sex at publicly funded schools.
Lawyers for the ACLU argue such protections also apply to discrimination based on gender identity. In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed, but the school district filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.
The district maintain that Title IX’s use of the word “sex” means “nothing more than male and female, under the traditional binary conception of sex consistent with one’s birth or biological sex.”
In August, SCOTUS agreed to stay the appeals’ court ruling until it decides whether to take the case or not, meaning Grimm had to use the women’s restrooms for the time being.
USA Today reports Gloucester v. Grimm will likely be heard by April and decided by late June.
Trans rights have become a hot-button issue since North Carolina passed HB2: The Obama administration issued guidelines earlier this year directing public schools to respect the rights of trans students, but some 23 states have filed legal challenges.