NORFOLK, VIRGINIA — A federal judge on Monday dismissed one of the key legal arguments brought by lawyers for a transgender student suing to use the boys restroom at his Virginia high school. Stating that being transgender is a “mental disorder” and that he worries for student privacy in restrooms, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Doumar warned Gavin Grimm’s attorneys that they now face “an uphill battle.”
Grimm, who attends Gloucester High School, argued he must be allowed to use school bathrooms that correspond with his gender identity under Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, which bans discrimination based on sex. Grimm’s argument is hardly an exception: The federal government has weighed in repeatedly in recently years — in letters, in court briefs, and to settle complaints — to say Title IX bans transgender discrimination as a form of sex discrimination.
But Doumar announced midway through Monday’s hearing that he was throwing out that argument. “Your case in Title IX is gone, by the way,” he told ACLU staff attorney Joshua Block, who argued on Grimm’s behalf. “I have chosen to dismiss Title IX. I decided that before we started.”