JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri, April 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a transgender student’s lawsuit to use facilities opposite her biological sex.
The unidentified student, known only as RMA in court records, is a girl who says she’s “identified” as a boy since fourth grade, The Kansas City Star reported. Blue Springs School District has accommodated her by listing her under a male name in school records and letting her play sports and attend gym classes with male students, but it drew the line at the male locker room and restrooms. Instead, it allowed her to use a unisex bathroom.
RMA filed sex discrimination charges with the Missouri Human Rights Commission and sued her school in 2015. A circuit court dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that the Missouri Human Rights Act doesn’t cover “gender-identity discrimination,” so she appealed to the state Supreme Court.
Kansas City CBS affiliate KCTV added that RMA began “living consistently as a boy” in 2009, including legally changing her name and gender on her birth certificate. The lawsuit also claims that not being able to use male facilities forced her to stop playing sports and “limited his success in school.”
During arguments, school district attorney Mark Katz argued that the school had attempted to accommodate RMA’s requests within reason but drew the line at changing clothes in the presence of students of the opposite sex. “‘Sex’ is a relatively narrow construct” pertaining to reproductive organs, Katz noted.
The conservative Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, arguing that state law was on the school’s side and that ruling for RMA would violate the privacy rights of her classmates.
“School locker rooms and restrooms provide a reasonable expectation of privacy from the opposite sex when young students are changing clothes or dealing with personal hygiene,” ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb explained. “That privacy is lost when gender identity advocates demand that ‘sex’ be reinterpreted to mean ‘gender identity,’ which refers to a fluid spectrum of self-perceptions ranging, as those advocates admit, from masculine to feminine to something else.”
“‘Sex’ means male and female, and the real differences between boys and girls are a real reason for privacy in locker rooms and restrooms,” he added.
The high court announced in January it would take on this and another LGBT case, which was taken at the time as a potential turning point for the state. “These are the first cases where the court’s going to consider what sex discrimination means when the discrimination is based on people not meeting stereotypes about their gender,” Tony Rothert of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union Missouri said at the time.
It is unknown when the Missouri Supreme Court will issue a ruling, as it does not have set deadlines for deciding cases.