9th Circuit Court rules against parents who opposed transgender bathroom policies

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Cisgender students and their parents opposed to a trans-inclusive school facilities policy in an Oregon district fell flat on their faces at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. OREGON FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT

Don’t want boys in the girls’ bathroom? Too bad; their rights are more important than yours.

Bill Clinton- and Barack Obama-appointed judges on the San Francisco-based Ninth District Court of Appeals have affirmed a district court ruling that a school district in Dallas, Ore. did not violate the legal rights of parents and students who objected to a policy of allowing male students to use bathrooms and locker rooms meant for females and vice versa, reports the Gay City News.

The Feb. 12 decision upholding District Judge Marco A. Hernandez’s ruling came from a unanimous three-judge panel comprised of A. Wallace Tashima, who was appointed by Bill Clinton and wrote the court’s opinion, Susan P. Graber, also appointed by Clinton, and John B. Owens, appointed by Barack Obama.

The school district adopted its policy in response to a request from a transgender student, cited in the court’s opinion as Student A, who is female but announced in Sept. 2015 that everyone must treat her as a male. The request came in advance of the Obama administration sending out its infamous letter to school districts across that nation that trans students have a legal right to such bullying, a directive the Trump administration disavowed shortly after taking office.

The district adopted a policy it called the “Student Safety Plan” that allows trans students to use any bathroom they want, regardless of the preferences or feelings of others.

School staff were to be trained regarding Title IX, the federal statute requiring schools receiving federal funding to afford equal educational opportunity for students regardless of their sex. The plan also provided that the gym teacher would be the first to enter the locker room and be present at all times when students were using it, and that Student A’s locker would be in direct line of sight of the coach’s office, so the coach would see if anybody interfered with him.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit claimed that Student A’s presence in the locker room caused non-trans boys “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, intimidation, fear, apprehension, and stress,” and that the privacy stalls in the bathrooms were insufficient because they had gaps through which “partially unclothed bodies” could “inadvertently” be seen. A single-user bathroom, they also alleged, was “often inconvenient or considered inferior because it lacked a shower.”

In other words, the plaintiffs argued that the trans student should have to use the inconvenient and inferior facility rather than them, due to their “stress” and “fear” around the possibility of encountering Student A while using the locker room and a public bathroom.

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