Supreme Courtroom silence heralds victory for transgender rights in Oregon
The Supreme Court’s decision not to appeal means Oregon’s No. 2 Dallas School District can continue to accept transgender students.
The US Supreme Court has denied a lawsuit against the policy of an Oregon public school that allows transgender children to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
According to Reuters, the judges’ decision leaves a lower court decision in effect dismissing a lawsuit against the No. 2 Dallas School District in the western half of Oregon. The plaintiffs had initially argued that the district’s progressive policies violated the constitutional rights of other students to privacy and religious freedom. They had also suggested that expanding transgender rights could violate federal and state laws that prohibit gender discrimination in education.
In the lower court ruling, Justice Wallace A. Tashima of the US 9th Court of Appeals stated that the Dallas Schools did not violate anyone’s constitutional rights.
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“A policy that allows transgender students to use school bathroom and locker facilities that match their self-identified gender in the same way that cisgender students use these facilities will not violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s privacy or parental rights or the rights to freely exercise the first amendment still create actionable sexual harassment under Title IX, ”Tashima wrote.
NBC News notes that the lawsuit was filed by a small group of West Oregon parents who referred to themselves as “privacy parents.”
In 2017, after the Dallas School District changed its policy to accept a male transgender student so that he could use the boys’ lockers and toilets, the families sued.
Parent lawyers alleged in their lawsuit that cisgender students were embarrassed to go to the bathroom or care for someone who was not born biologically male.
However, the lawsuit was never taken. In 2018, a lower court refused to block the Dallas School District’s transgender policy. And earlier this year the 9th Court of Appeal upheld its result.
While the Supreme Court did not comment on the details of the case, its refusal to hear an appeal leaves the decision to the 9th District Court.
Transgender rights advocates and LGBTQ activists have praised the judges’ decision to uphold Tashima’s decision.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, told NBC News that the judges’ decision sets an important standard.
“Today’s decision is great news for transgender students,” said Keisling. “Trans students deserve a safe, supportive, and non-discriminatory educational environment. The school district’s actions to create this environment have been confirmed. “
Judges are expected to take up another Virginia-based case related to transgender rights and discrimination later this year.
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