US trans student can’t use male toilets, for now

A 17-year-old American student who was born female cannot use the male toilets at school, the US Supreme Court has said, in its first ruling on transsexualism.

Parents had expressed concern about the student, known as Gavin Grimm, using boys’ toilets, which prompted the school to create unisex bathrooms.

But Grimm sued the school and in April a court said she could use the male toilets.


However, on Wednesday, the Supreme Court voted 5-3 to put the lower court decision on hold. It is set to decide whether it will hear the case in full in the coming months.

The school board at the centre of the case welcomed the Court’s ruling, adding it “continues to believe that its resolution of this complex matter fully considered the interests of all students and parents”.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious liberty group involved in the case, said schools have a duty “to protect the privacy and safety of all students”.

Jeremy Tedesco, from ADF, stated that it was “significant” that the Supreme Court had sought to “preserve the status quo as it’s always been in society, as it’s always been in schools”.


But the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which sued the school alongside Grimm, said it was disappointed in the ruling.

In June, the leader of the Georgia division of the ACLU resigned after her daughters were left “visibly frightened” when three transsexuals used the women’s bathroom.

The former leader, Maya Dillard Smith, said she was met with hostility when she raised questions over the ACLU’s position on the issue.

Legal action

Earlier this year, the Obama administration had told schools to let transsexual pupils use the toilets, changing rooms and showers of their choice, or face serious cuts.

However, over 20 US states have taken legal action against the Government over the order.

A recent poll revealed that two-thirds of Americans, including a majority of young people, are opposed to the Administration’s move.

President of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins said: “President Obama has ignored the repeatedly expressed concerns of parents and school officials over the privacy and safety of students”.

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