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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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November 27 2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL FIGHTS TRANSGENDER DISCRIMINATION

Raoul, 22 Attorneys General Argue Transgender Students Should Use Restrooms Consistent with Their Gender Identities

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general to file an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in support of transgender rights in an antidiscrimination lawsuit, Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board. Grimm, a former student at Gloucester High School in Virginia, sued the Gloucester County School Board in 2015 — when he was still a student — for discrimination that banned him from using the common male restrooms at his high school.

“Transgender teens face many challenges at a vulnerable time in their lives. Experiencing discrimination at school or anywhere else should not be one of those challenges,” Raoul said. “I have devoted much of my public service to fighting against discrimination in any form, and my office will continue to fight these unjust, discriminatory laws and policies.”

Grimm sued to challenge the Gloucester County School Board’s policy prohibiting him from using the common male restrooms at his high school and the board’s refusal to update his educational records to correspond with his updated birth certificate that reflects his male gender. The federal district court in Virginia ruled in Grimm’s favor in August 2019, finding that the school board’s actions discriminated against Grimm on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Raoul and the coalition argue that transgender individuals have the right “to live with dignity, be free from discrimination, and have equal access to education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and other necessities of life.” Policies that prevent transgender individuals from using gender-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity cause stigma, isolation and exclusion, while those that allow students and members of the public to use gender-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity promote safe and inclusive communities, workplaces, and schools, without harming personal privacy or safety interests, or incurring any substantial costs.

Raoul and the coalition argue that the school board’s restroom policy preventing transgender people from using common restrooms consistent with their gender identity and its refusal to update Grimm’s school records do not further legitimate governmental interests and only serve to stigmatize transgender persons in violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

Nearly 1.5 million people in the United States — including approximately 150,000 teenagers —identify as transgender.

In March 2017, the Illinois Attorney General’s office joined a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Grimm, before the court remanded the case for further proceedings in which Grimm prevailed.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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