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Supreme Court: High school may keep girls out of boys restrooms - for now

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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – 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.”

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, pointing to a potential 4-4 split on a court still operating without its full cohort.

“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.”

“This case is a result of yet another Obama administration overreach,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America. “To require schools to allow students into any bathroom of their choice is an overstep on legal boundaries by redefining the scope and reach of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and slapping the heavy hand of government on local schools.”

Last September, Grimm lost her case before Judge Robert George Doumar, a Reagan appointee.

However, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Grimm by a 2-1 vote in April, remanding the case to a district court that also ruled against the school.

Since the full appeals court has declined to hear the case, the school district plans to appeal directly to the Supreme Court within the month, according to local reports.

The Gloucester County School Board said in a statement that it “welcomes the Supreme Court's decision as the new school year approaches.”

Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual activist group, dubbed the decision in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G “deeply disappointing.”

Grimm’s attorney, Joshua Block of the ACLU, said, Gavin will have to begin another school year isolated from [her] peers and stigmatized by the Gloucester County school board.”

If the justices accept the case, they could remand it to a lower court to reconsider, or they could issue a landmark ruling on an issue of growing social importance.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said jurists should base their decision on biological reality, calling the Obama administration’s theories of gender constructs “the stuff of make believe and fantasy and should not be engaged in by learned judges.”

Recent polls show two-thirds of Americans oppose forcing public accommodations to allow members of one biological sex to access the private, intimate facilities of the opposite sex. 

In the meantime, "parents should continue to speak up about their privacy and safety concerns. If the Obama edict is allowed to stand, there's no limit to what President Obama's administration, or future presidents, will be emboldened to do," Sprigg said.

The Left always uses children to accomplish its goals of social reengineering,” Nance added. “The adults closest to these children should decide what's best for all the children in the school. Safety and kindness should be the guiding principles, not threats from the bullies in Washington.”

“We hope the Supreme Court agrees,” she said.

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