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Judge issues injunction against Pennsylvania district in transgender case

28 Февраля, 2017, 15:40 | Author: Mae Harvey
  • Former president Barack Obama places his hand on his heart as Jackie Evancho sings the national anthem during Trump's inaguration

Hornak of Pennsylvania issued a temporary injunction on Monday (Feb. 27) that barred Pine-Richland School District from enforcing a new policy that said transgender students must either use single-person bathrooms or those matching their birth sex.

The plantiffs were Juliet Evancho, Elissa Ridenour, and another student who identified only as A.S.

In revoking the guidance, officials in the USA departments of Justice and Education said they would leave it to states and districts to determine whether the sex-discrimination protections in Title IX apply to gender identity and whether or not to grant transgender students access to restrooms, locker rooms, and sex-segregated activities that match their gender identity.

Meanwhile, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a lawyer with Lambda Legal, the civil rights group representing the three students, said: "The ruling is a reminder to school districts across Pennsylvania and across America that they have a legal duty to respect the gender identity of all their students". The record also shows inadequate justification for treating the students differently from their peers of the same gender identities "based exclusively on transgender status", Hornak wrote.

Among those students is Juliet Evancho, the sister of President Donald Trump's inauguration singer Jackie Evancho, who tweeted an invitation to the president to discuss transgender rights after his administration rescinded Obama-era guidance last week that instructed schools on how to accommodate transgender students.

In his 48-page opinion, Hornak cited equal protection rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

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"Every student must be respected for who they are and be afforded equal educational opportunity". Such policies are not only wrong, they are illegal.

The Trump administration said it would leave the issue up to the states, not the federal government.

Monday's victory for the seniors at Pine-Richland High School marks yet another crucial milestone for transgender students across the nation.

"This is wonderful news and a tremendous relief that we can now use the bathroom without feeling isolated and humiliated", Elissa said in a statement after the discriminatory restroom ban was suspended.

Gonzalez-Pagan said the district now has until March 15 to formally answer the students' complaint in the western district court where the case is being heard. With Hornak's decision in the Pine-Richland case, the trend among courts appears to be moving toward the understanding that discrimination based on gender identity is still unconstitutional, at least under the Fourteenth Amendment. "The past months have been incredibly stressful, and this was all so unnecessary".

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