March 26, 2016
ASHEVILLE – A federal court case brought by a transgender student, who is fighting to use boys’ restrooms in his Virginia school, could have implications for a controversial new state law in North Carolina, one that has come under scrutiny as a potential threat to federal education funding.
Should the appellate court judges rule in favor of 16-year-old Gavin Grimm, their decision could force North Carolina legislators to re-examine a law signed late Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory. The law, in part, requires transgender individuals use public bathrooms consistent with their physical anatomy rather than their gender identity. It also prevents local governments from adopting rules to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and mandates that only the state can set minimum wage rates.
Grimm has argued that a policy by the Gloucester County School Board barring him from using the boys’ bathroom violates his federal Title IX protections, which forbids discrimination in public schools based on sex.
Schools that violate Title IX risk losing federal education funding, and in North Carolina, opponents of the newly signed House Bill 2, will likely bring suit against the law on those grounds.
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