Three LGBT Wins in Court

Three victories in the appellate-level courts in the last week is great news. Two are transgender student cases — Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and a similar case from DC (see Grace Dolan-Sandrino’s story from her viewpoint).

The third case is a sex-discrimination case in employment. In this case, a lesbian — Kimberly Hively —successfully argued before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that Ivy Tech Community College fired her because she’s a lesbian and this firing was a form of sex discrimination because she is a lesbian. Judge Diane Wood wrote the court decision affirming that there was sex discrimination because the community college based the firing decision on Ms. Hively’s “gender non-conforming” behavior.  This form of “gender stereotyping falls within Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination” and is thus a clear case of sex discrimination according to Judge Wood.

Since these cases are all at the lower court level and other appellate courts have come to differing decisions, these cases and similar ones could end up at the US Supreme Court.  But for now, SUCCESS on these types of LGBTQIA cases related to education and employment have occurred within some parts of the country. We’ll just have to wait and see what the final outcome will be.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the final outcome will be.

Nel's New Day

On the surface, last week’s court case about Gavin Grimm looked like a loss for human rights. When the Gloucester County (VA) School Board banned transgender students from using the bathrooms that conformed with their gender identities, Gavin Grimm, then 15, addressed the board on November 11, 2014 to explain why he was not a threat to other students. The transgender teen explained that he had used the boys’ bathroom in public places throughout Gloucester County and had never had a confrontation. As Seth Millstein wrote:

“He explained that he is a person worthy of dignity and privacy. He explained why it is humiliating to be segregated from the general population. He knew, intuitively, what the law has in recent decades acknowledged: the perpetuation of stereotypes is one of many forms of invidious discrimination. And so he hoped that his heartfelt explanation would help the powerful adults in his community…

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