By Ben Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C. A rural Virginia school district will not have to allow members of one biological sex to use the showers and restrooms of the opposite sex – at least, for now.
In a 5-3 ruling, justices granted a preliminary injunction against a lower court ruling that said Gloucester High School had to allow senior Caitlyn Hope Grimm to use the intimate facilities of her choice.
The court’s conservatives were joined by swing vote Anthony Kennedy and liberal Stephen Breyer, a Clinton appointee, who wrote, “I vote to grant the application as a courtesy.”
“We are grateful that the Supreme Court put a hold on a disturbing ruling that treads on parental rights and the responsibility of local school districts to provide a safe learning environment for children,” said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.
“Schools have a duty to protect the privacy and safety of all students. That’s a principle that numerous other courts – including the 4th Circuit itself – have upheld,” said Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed an amicus brief in the case.
Grimm, who legally changed her name to Gavin in July 2014, sued her high school as a 15-year-old after being denied access to the male facilities. School officials instead made three single-stall restrooms available to all students.
Grimm instead filed a lawsuit with the help of the ACLU, contending that the school district violated her 14th Amendment rights and. The Obama administration filed a “statement of interest” in the cast last July, saying the school’s policy constituted “sex discrimination.”
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