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Gloucester School Board asks Supreme Court to take up Gavin Grimm’s case

Transgender Rights

Education Week reports:

A Virginia school district on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether schools must allow transgender students to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

The appeal came in the long-running case of transgender student Gavin Grimm, who was barred by a policy of the Gloucester County school district from using the boys’ restroom at his high school. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the district’s policy violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bars sex discrimination in federally funded schools, and the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause.

The petition and other information is here, via Equality Case Files.


  • 1. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 7:58 am

    Scotty, I am very glad to note that EoT has once again returned back to its normal format, after about 6 days of being stuck in "phone" mode, during which time no one was able to make new posts nor could anyone reply to old ones. During that time, too, it also proved to be almost impossible to alert anyone that there was indeed a problem that needed some attention for fixing.

    In the interim, I am also quite pleased to note that several commentators added their voices to a series of new posts that had been added directly to the archives while we waited for the system here at EoT to be fixed:

    At the earliest opportunity, that series of new posts will be copy-and-pasted over here.

  • 2. bayareajohn  |  February 23, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    I used the tech form several times to try to report the problem, then on Monday afternoon, I dug up about a dozen addresses of people from the EOT infrastructure in the past several years, and begged in a group mail for someone to care… got no replies, and the recovery today may or may not be related to any our our pleas…. anyway, hope for it to last again.

  • 3. VIRick  |  February 24, 2021 at 8:35 am

    I reported the problem on the tech support form every day that the problem persisted and never received any reply to any of my messages. And the identical problem, "stuck in 'phone' mode," actually occurred twice, first on 16 February, and then, with a vengeance, for 5 long days, from 18 through 22 February. As you will note, there were 4 posts made to the previous thread on 17 February during which, for a brief interval, EoT was working properly.

    Oddly, the EoT host, Intense Debate, appeared to be functioning normally during the entire time (indicating that "stuck in 'phone' mode" was an EoT specific problem, rather than a host problem), as I utilized that fact to alter my EoT profile to redirect others over to the archives where I was continuing to post. Now that I have completed the transfer back, as you can see from the collection of new posts immediately below, there was quite a bit of accumulated LGBT news that had occurred during the "missed" week.

    I have deliberately continued to keep my profile information "as is." It will not help in curing any future problems at EoT, but the link can be utilized as an alternate point of communication.

  • 4. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Liechtenstein: Prince Hans-Adam II Gives Reluctant Green Light to Marriage Equality

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 22 February 2021, the head of state of Liechtenstein, Prince Hans-Adam II, spoke to Radio Liechtenstein and confirmed his position on same-sex marriages, saying, “Gays can get married, but they can not adopt."

    The issue is topical in Liechtenstein, as there were elections in the country on 7 February 2021 and there is now an apparent majority in the local parliament for the legalization of same-sex marriages. As head of state, the Prince has threatened to exercise his veto if the bill included the right of adoption for same-sex couples.

    As soon as Switzerland has finalized the implementation of marriage equality, expect Liechtenstein to follow suit, at least up to the limits imposed by Prince Hans-Adam II, as stated above.

    Prince Hans-Adam II is the last reigning monarch of the once-mighty Hapsburg Empire, and often acts as if he were still ruling most of Central Europe, rather than a tiny sliver of Alpine territory which is not really a fully independent country (having given up its foreign affairs, defense, and monetary policies to Switzerland back in the early 1930s, just prior to the rise of the Nazi era, a fortuitous event that "saved" the Liechtenstein dynasty and annoyed Hitler to no end), but rather, is more accurately viewed as a semi-autonomous state (canton) of Switzerland (with limited powers over a selection of domestic issues, but with one such being its marriage policy).

    However, Liechtenstein does not have representation in the Swiss Parliament, nor is it officially counted as one of the Swiss cantons, despite having ceded most of its most important state powers to Switzerland. The anomaly is acute: Switzerland is one of the world's oldest democratic republics where the people have an extra-large voice in their governance and where hereditary monarchies are anathema. In order to officially and completely join Switzerland, Liechtenstein will finally have to dump the most glaring impediment: Prince Hans-Adam II and the Hapsburg dynasty.

  • 5. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Uruguay: New Law on Spanish-Style Surname Order Implemented

    Per Impouruguay (Centro de Información Oficial):

    El hijo de una pareja heterosexual llevará de primer apellido el paterno y segundo el materno. Los padres pueden invertir el orden siempre que exista acuerdo entre ellos. El hijo de un matrimonio homosexual llevará los apellidos de sus padres en el orden que ellos opten. En caso de no existir acuerdo, se determinará por sorteo al momento de la inscripción.

    The child of an opposite-sex couple will carry the paternal surname first and the maternal second. The parents can reverse the order whenever there exists an agreement between them. The child of a same-sex couple will carry the surnames of its parents in the order that they opt. In a case where no agreement exists, it will be determined by lot at the moment of registration.

  • 6. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    South Korea: Married Gay Couple Sues State Health Insurer Over Cancelled Coverage

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On Thursday, 18 February 2021, So Seong-wook and his partner Kim Yong-min filed an administrative lawsuit against the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) with the Seoul Administrative Court, according to the Korean Network for LGBT Partnership and Marriage Rights. The NHIS first granted So coverage under Kim's employer-based health insurance program in February 2020, but reversed the decision in October 2020, citing their same-sex marriage.

    So has since been charged a separate premium, which the suit is asking the court to cancel. He claimed at a press conference outside the court on Thursday that denying his benefits as the spouse of a subscriber in the health insurance program simply because of his gender is discriminatory. By law, the NHIS grants such benefits to partners of civil unions, he noted. So and Kim have lived together since 2017 and have been married since May 2019, but South Korea does not legally recognize same-sex marriages.

    Obviously, the couple in question was married abroad, but this news article regarding their lawsuit does not state the name of the country.

  • 7. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    Honduras: LGBT Advocates File New Legal Challenge in Constitutional Court

    On Thursday, 18 February 2021, Honduran LGBT advocates mounted a legal challenge to recent changes made to the constitution by lawmakers that make it more difficult to reverse the existing ban on same-sex marriage. The changes go “against rights and values recognized in the constitution and in international treaties and conventions, including the rights to human dignity, equality, and liberty,” said Nadia Mejia, a lawyer for the LGBT advocacy group, Las Cattrachas, which filed the legal challenge.

    Lawyers for Las Cattrachas cited a whole handful of constitutional violations carried out by lawmakers while in the process of approving the reforms, a reform which increased the number of votes needed to change a constitutional article defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

    A separate legal challenge to the country’s same-sex marriage ban brought by other LGBT activists in 2018 is still ongoing.

  • 8. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Jamaica: CIDH Declares Anti-Gay Sodomy Laws Illegal

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights finds that Jamaica's laws banning same-sex sexual relations violate international law. It calls upon the Jamaica government to repeal them, and instead, to pass LGBT non-discrimination laws. In addition, and importantly, the commission also found that Jamaica's enactment of a constitutional provision meant to protect their sodomy laws from legal challenges was itself illegal.

    In the specific case before the CIDH, the international tribunal found that Jamaica’s government violated the rights of a gay man and a lesbian, according to the ruling released Wednesday, 17 February 2021. Activists say the decision could set a precedent in a region long known for legal harassment of the LGBT community. The ruling was issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in September 2019, but the commission had kept it confidential until now. “This is now the landmark LGBT human rights case for the entire Caribbean region,” said Human Dignity Trust, a UK-based legal organization that presented the case to the commission in 2011.

    The trust represented Gareth Henry, who attorneys said is a gay man living as a refugee in Canada, and Simone Edwards, a lesbian who they say was forced to flee Jamaica. Henry sought asylum in Canada in 2008 after facing police brutality and repeated attacks by homophobic gangs, including being chased by a mob of some 200 people who were chanting that gay people must be killed, according to the trust.

    Edwards was shot several times outside her home in 2008 by people who tried to kill her and her two brothers, one of whom is also gay, attorneys said, adding that she lost one of her kidneys and part of her liver. She has since been granted asylum in the Netherlands.

    Activists hailed the decision of the commission, which is an autonomous body of the Organization of American States. It called on Jamaica’s government to provide full reparation, including economic compensation, but there’s been no response so far, per Téa Braun, director of Human Dignity Trust. She said Jamaica has not yet followed any of the commission’s other recommendations.

    Jamaica is one of nine nations across the Caribbean that still have laws prohibiting consensual, same-sex intimacy, according to the trust. These include Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, and Antigua/Barbuda. These antiquated colonial-era laws call for penalties that range from 10 years to life in prison, with one including hard labor as well.

  • 9. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    Biden Administration to Add Gender "X" Marker to Federal Documents

    After years of lobbying and lawsuits, non-binary and intersex people may finally be getting passports that reflect who they are: LGBTQ advocates have been in talks with the Biden administration about its executive action to add gender “X” markers to all federal documents, including passports and social security cards, according to the ACLU.

    The White House declined to offer a timeline for the rollout or to comment on how the policy might be implemented. But Matt Hill, a spokesperson at the White House, said President Joe Biden remains committed to issuing non-binary IDs, a promise he made during his presidential campaign.

  • 10. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    "Gloucester County School Board v. Grimm" to Supreme Court a Second Time

    Gavin Grimm’s fight to get his Virginia high school to allow him to use the restroom consistent with his gender identity, even though he graduated four years ago, is not over: On Friday, 20 February 2021, the Gloucester County School Board filed a petition asking the US Supreme Court to again review the case. The 37-page petition for certiorari asserts that the decision from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which again ruled in favor of Grimm in August 2020, was incorrect in determining that the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 require the school to grant him access to the boys’ bathroom.

    “The overriding issue in this case is whether federal law — either Title IX or the Equal Protection Clause — mandates only one answer to the difficult question of how a school should respond to transgender students seeking to be treated consistent with their gender identities, while accommodating the compelling bodily privacy interests of their cisgender classmates,” the petition says. “Because both laws permit school boards to reach different answers to that question, the decision below was wrong.”

    Although Grimm graduated from high school in 2017, the courts have kept his case alive on the basis he could return as an alumnus, such as a return trip for a football game, and may need to use the restroom facilities, and also because the school itself has refused to update his transcripts consistent with his gender identity.

    Josh Block, senior staff attorney for the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, however, said continued adjudication of the case is unnecessary. “It is disappointing that after six years of litigation, the Gloucester County School Board is still digging in its heels,” Block said. “Federal law is clear: Transgender students are protected from discrimination. Gloucester County schools are no exception.”

  • 11. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    US House to Again Vote on LGBT-Inclusive Equality Act

    Per Chris Johnson:

    Confirmed: House to vote next week (23-26 February 2021) on the Equality Act.

    Per Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to colleagues:

    "Other legislation coming to the Floor next week are two bills…a wilderness package and the Equality Act. The latter, which passed in the House in May 2019 during the last session, will end legal discrimination against LGBTQ Americans."….

    As an up-date, the US House is scheduled to be voting on the Equality Act on Thursday, 25 February 2021.

  • 12. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Having made that quick post, a question was asked:

    "Does this include the controversial issue of trans women competing in women's sports? If so, will hormone treatments and waiting periods continue to be required, I wonder?"

    to which the reply was:

    The LGBT-inclusive "Equality Act of 2021" is the exact same piece of legislation that passed in the US House in May of 2019, but which the US Senate then refused to consider. So, given that we are now in a new Congress, the US House is again in the process of passing the measure one more time, with the hope that the US Senate will be more amenable to its passage two years later.

    The language contained in the "Equality Act of 2021" is broad, and essentially seeks to amend the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add two more categories to the pre-existing list against which it is unlawful to discriminate; namely, it will add sexual orientation and gender identity to that of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. Transgender women and transgender men would both be covered under the category of gender identity.

    To answer your question, given the broad language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there is no mention in it of anything so specifically detailed regarding sports, hormone treatments, or waiting periods. If the measure were to become law, it would then be up to the courts to decide whether sports, or hormone treatments, or waiting periods were covered and in what ways that coverage needed to be handled in a non-discriminatory manner, assuming of course, that there were to be some challenge or dispute in interpretation that needed to be settled.

    Actually, your question has more to do with certain state laws, whether already passed, or in process of potentially being passed, rather than that of federal law. And at that, to date, only Idaho actually passed a "female genital inspection" law which was instantly challenged by both transgender women and cisgender women. The latter were more than outraged by the prospect of having to undergo physical inspections to prove their "genital femaleness." Eventually, this one-sided law, already on "hold," will be thrown out, just on the grounds that one can play on the male teams without any inspection to determine whether said individuals actually possess a penis.

    The federal law does not delve into that sort of specific detail.

  • 13. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Myanmar: Shirtless Bodybuilders Protest Military Coup

    On Monday, 22 February 2021, shirtless bodybuilders, gym rats, and fitness trainers joined the protests against the military coup in Myanmar. Joining the drag queens and other LGBTQ people hitting the streets to demand the release of democratically elected officials, the men bared their chests, and carried signs demanding freedom or displaying catchy slogans like "Love Fitness: Hate Coup," "Take my bench at the gym, but don't take our country," "Installing Democracy, Please Wait!" "Don't play with our country, play with us!" "Fuck the Coup, We Voted NLD," and "I hate MAL more than dieting" (the latter referencing military commander Min Aung Hlaing).

    Out Traveler has produced quite a collection of eye-catching photos of the demonstrators:

    And here are some additional photos of the drag-queens protesting in Yangon, Myanmar, and of other LGBTQ participants also protesting in Mandalay, Myanmar:

  • 14. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Argentina: First Same-Sex Marriage in La Mendieta, Jujuy Province

    Per registrociviljujuy:

    El 22 de febrero 2021, Melisa Cañizares y Florencia Alemán se convirtieron en la primera pareja del mismo género en casarse en el Registro Civil de La Mendieta en la Provincia de Jujuy. ¡Felicitamos a las recién casadas!

    On 22 February 2021, Melisa Cañizares and Florencia Alemán became the first same-sex couple to marry at the Civil Registry of La Mendieta in Jujuy Province. Congratulations to the recently married couple!

    Jujuy Province is in the far northwest corner of Argentina, bordering both Bolivia and Chile, and for many years once actively resisted implementing the national marriage equality law. That has recently changed, as this notice, along with a whole series of accompanying photos of the ceremony, was posted in celebration by the Jujuy Civil Registry itself. Jujuy Province is also the most indigenous area of Argentina, composed primarily of Quechua people, like in neighboring Bolivia.

  • 15. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    San Luis Potosí: First Same-Sex Marriage in Mexquitic de Carmona

    El 22 de febrero 2021, Marisol y Fabiola rompen prejuicios; la primera pareja LGBT que se casa en el municipio de Mexquitic de Carmona, San Luis Potosí.

    On 22 February 2021, Marisol and Fabiola break prejudices; the first LGBT couple to marry in the municipality of Mexquitic de Carmona, San Luis Potosí.

    Mexquitic de Carmona is in the southwestern part of San Luis Potosí state, abutting the eastern prong of Zacatecas state in central Mexico.

  • 16. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    Saskatchewan: Saskatoon Bans Anti-LGBT "Conversion Therapy"

    Per Dr. Kristopher Wells:

    On 23 February 2021, Saskatoon became the first municipality in Saskatchewan to pass a "conversion therapy" prohibition business bylaw, including fines of up to $10,000 and $25,000 for repeat violations.

  • 17. VIRick  |  February 23, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    Liechtenstein: Pro-Equal-Rights Composition of Newly Elected Parliament

    Per Nasha Gagnebin:

    Sur les 25 élus au Parlement du Liechtenstein, ce sont désormais 19 élus qui sont pour des droits égaux identiques pour tous.

    As to the 25 members elected to the Parliament of Liechtenstein, there are now 19 who are in favor of identical equal rights for all.

  • 18. scream4ever  |  February 23, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    A equal marriage bill should pass like a hot knife through butter.

  • 19. VIRick  |  February 24, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Yucatán: Supreme Court Postpones Marriage Equality Ruling

    La Suprema Corte pospuso la sentencia sobre el matrimonio igualitario en Yucatán. La resolución, en lista de espera, podría votarse dentro de dos semanas.

    The Supreme Court postponed the ruling on marriage equality in Yucatán. The resolution, on the waiting list, could be voted upon within two weeks.

    Per Homosensual:

    El caso de "Revisión de Amparo 413/2020" del Colectivo PTF Yucatán quedó en lista. Significa que queda pendiente de votación. Quizá se vuelva alista dentro de dos semanas.

    The case, "Revisión de Amparo 413/2020," of the Colectivo PTF Yucatán stayed on the list. That means that the vote remains pending. It may become ready within two weeks.

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  February 24, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Democratic Rep. Marie Newman posts a Trans Pride flag outside her office, right across the hall from bigot Marjorie Taylor Greene's office

    Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) said Wednesday she installed a trans pride flag outside her office after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R.-Ga.), who works in a neighboring office, called an LGBTQ rights bill “an attack on God’s creation.”

    “Our neighbor, @RepMTG, tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is ‘disgusting, immoral, and evil.’ Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door,” Newman tweeted.

    The Illinois Democrat included a video of herself adding the flag and a shot of Greene’s office directly across the hall.

    Greene earlier this week called the Equality Act “a direct attack on God’s creation” that would ensure “men who dress and think they are women will have rights over all real girls and women.” The GOP lawmaker has also co-sponsored legislation that would bar trans women and girls from women and girls’ athletic divisions.

    The U.S. House earlier this month voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments over her history of inflammatory comments, including promoting the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory and endorsing calls for violence against Democrats.

  • 21. VIRick  |  February 24, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Gibraltar: Surrogacy Act Now in Force

    Per LGBT Marriage News:

    On 5 February 2021, the Minister for Equality, Justice, Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento MP, took to Parliament a Bill for an Act on Surrogacy. The Bill had been published on 28 January and was brought to Parliament by the earliest possible opportunity following a certificate from the Chief Minister abridging the normal six-week requirement of notice.

    The Act then came into force on 9 February (only 4 days later) after publication of an extraordinary Gazette, and the provisions contained in it are therefore now law. The Minister has said she is pleased to note that certain provisions are already being used and that at least one application has been accepted by the Supreme Court of Gibraltar for a parental order under the Act.

    Today, 23 February 2021, the Minister for Equality has published additional legislation in this area, namely the Births and Deaths Registration (Amendment) Rules 2021. These regulations amend the Births and Deaths Registration Rules to allow for the recording of information in a birth or still-birth entry relating to a woman who is a parent by virtue of section 9 of the Surrogacy Act 2021.

    Although this news article does not mention the instance directly, the hurry-up nature of the passage of the Surrogacy Act 2021 could well have been directly tied to the dilemma of the Gibraltar/Bulgaria same-sex couple whose child was recently born in Spain. In fact, this couple could well be the petitioners whose case was mentioned as already pending before the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, as the Births and Deaths Registration (Amendment) Rules 2021, just published, would directly apply to their circumstances, given that the Gibraltar citizen is not the actual birth mother, but rather, the Bulgarian citizen is.

  • 22. VIRick  |  February 24, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Connecticut: DOE Drops Its Support of Blocking Transgender Girls in School Sports

    Per Equality Case Files:

    As of 23 February 2021, in "Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, Inc.," the US DOE OCR has withdrawn its support from a federal lawsuit seeking to block transgender girls from competing as girls in Connecticut school sports.

    Notice of Withdrawal of Statement of Interest:

    Notice of Case Development:

  • 23. VIRick  |  February 24, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    Idaho: DOJ Withdraws Amicus Brief Filed in Support of State in "Hecox v. Little"

    Per Equality Case Files:

    As of 24 February 2021, in "Hecox v. Little" presently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the US DOJ has withdrawn its amicus brief in support of the discriminatory Idaho state law banning transgender women and girls from participating in sports.

    Notice of Withdrawal is here:

    In rapid succession, in both of these pending federal cases pertaining to transgender girls playing on sports teams, both from Idaho and from Connecticut, the US government, whether as the Dept. of Education or as the Dept. of Justice, has withdrawn its support from the previously-held anti-transgender side of the legal argument.

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