The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday hosted an event honoring a transgender teenager who sued in order to use the mens’ restroom at his high school.
The event came despite the Trump administration rescinding pro-transgender bathroom guidance from the Obama White House. President Trump has made no mention of LGBTQ Pride month, traditionally held in June.
Gavin Grimm was recognized by DOJ Pride, an organization comprised of members of the LGBTQ community, for his “outstanding contributions to the LGBT community” at a ceremony, which was first announced by BuzzFeed last week.
The teen sued his Virginia high school’s board for the right to use the men's room, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the case after the Trump administration reversed an Obama era protection that told schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their chosen gender.
“Given that today’s administration is largely hostile to LGBT people and especially dangerous to LGBT youth, the gravity of receiving an award from DOJ itself, specifically the Pride alliance within it, is not lost on me at all,” Grimm said at the ceremony.
Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE was not present at the event, but he has said the DOJ would work to defend transgender rights, despite the Trump administration’s reversal of the Obama policy.
“We will protect and defend and celebrate that, and protect the rights of all transgender persons,” Sessions said in a conversation with an intern that was caught on camera.
“We are not going to allow persons in this country to be discriminated against or attacked in any way because of their sexual orientation,” he added.
Despite the LGBTQ community's skepticism toward the Trump administration, Grimm to expressed optimism in the department.
“There are good people in the DOJ, they’ve always been here, and always will be here, no matter what kind of administration comes above them,” Grimm said.