State Watch

Federal appeals court to hear Florida transgender bathroom lawsuit

A federal appeals court will reportedly decide whether a Florida school district must allow students to use the bathroom assigned to the gender with which they identify rather than the gender they were born.

The case before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals began Thursday after district officials from the St. Johns County school district appealed the lower court victory won by Drew Adams, a transgender former student of Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Fla., NBC News reported.

The 11th circuit court would be the highest court to issue a ruling on the matter of transgender students’ bathroom preferences since the Supreme Court sent a previous case in Virginia back to the lower courts following the Trump administration’s withdrawal of federal guidance on bathroom use in schools.

“I really think it is going to take the courts to change it,” Adams told NBC on Thursday.

Adams was reportedly originally allowed to use the boys’ restroom at school without issue following his transition from female to male, but school officials stepped in after several female students complained about the situation. It was unclear whether any boys at the school raised concerns.

District attorneys argued in the lower court that boys have “the right to be free from exposing one’s private and personal space and unclothed and partially clothed body to members of the opposite sex.”

“Plaintiff’s anatomy has no relevance to his ability to use the boys’ restroom,” responded Adams’s lawyer, Lambda Legal attorney Tara Borelli. “Defendant’s witnesses conceded at trial that Drew is treated differently because he is transgender, which is sex discrimination.”

Tags Gender identity under Title IX LGBT law in the United States Transgender legal history in the United States transgender rights

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