LOS ANGELES - City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today that Los Angeles, along with 30 other cities, counties and mayors, joined an amicus brief this morning with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of transgender students’ right to be free from discrimination at school, including the right to use restrooms and other sex-segregated facilities consistent with their gender identity.
"All our children deserve fair and equal treatment. All our children are entitled to respect, and to be free from discrimination. That includes our transgender children," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. "Already this year seven transgender women have been brutally murdered, making it all the more imperative that our transgender kids know they are valued and safe at school. Today Los Angeles and cities throughout the nation stand in the forefront of protecting and defending gender equality."
"No child should be subjected to bullying, intimidation, or humiliation. Discrimination against the transgender community is wrong, it can be especially destructive in the lives of young people, and has no place in our schools,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "I am proud to stand with cities across America in the fight to protect the dignity and safety of all our children."
The brief, filed in the case of Gloucester County Bd v. G.G., argues that Title IX — a federal law forbidding discrimination in schools on the basis of sex — protects transgender students from discrimination. The brief also notes that for decades over 200 cities, counties, and other municipalities have been adopting and enforcing local laws prohibiting discrimination against transgender people, which promote public safety and protect everyone’s privacy. In fact, one of the signatories to the brief, Minneapolis, Minn., adopted transgender protections in 1975 — more than forty years ago.
The case at hand was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 17-year-old transgender boy Gavin Grimm after the Gloucester County, Virginia, School Board passed a discriminatory policy that treats him differently from all other boys by preventing him from using the boys’ restrooms. Transgender students like Gavin are instead forced to use separate single-stall restrooms. The brief argues that forcing transgender students to use these separate restrooms is a form of “separate but equal” treatment that imposes significant burdens on those students. It visibly marks them as different from their peers and exposes them to a risk of violence and harassment. It also prevents them from receiving an equal education by requiring them to miss valuable class and activity time to visit restrooms that may not be conveniently located.