Appeals court refuses to rehear transgender restroom case

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court won't reconsider a three-judge panel's ruling that a transgender teen must be allowed to use the boys' restroom at school.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Gloucester County School Board's appeal on Tuesday.

The school board had asked for a full-court review after a three-judge panel said schools are bound by Department of Education guidelines, which say students must be allowed to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

The sex discrimination claim was brought by Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male.

In a dissent of Tuesday's decision, Judge Paul Niemeyer said the "momentous nature" of the issue deserves consideration before the U.S. Supreme Court.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's statement in response: 

“School systems throughout our nation should be allowed to make sensible accommodations for students whose gender identity conflicts with their own physical anatomy.  Yet the extreme Obama courts and administration deny this common sense flexibility at the expense of privacy for millions of boys and girls in our schools’ restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities.

It’s unfortunate that our attorney general Roy Cooper didn’t join us to protect the expectation of privacy for our children.

As Judge Niemeyer notes in his opinion,  ‘..they can override these provisions by redefining sex to mean how any given person identifies himself or herself at any given time, thereby, of necessity, denying all affected persons the dignity and freedom of bodily privacy.’

He went on to say, and I agree, ‘…the momentous nature of this issue deserves an open road to the Supreme Court to seek the Court’s controlling construction of Title IX for national application.’

Alternatively, the U.S. Congress could take action to clarify the scope of federal anti-discrimination laws so there is consistent application across our country.”

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