In January a transgender student, Gavin Grimm, 16, from rural Virginia went to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to appeal a ruling that says he cant use the mens restroom. Photo ACLU.

Fourth Circuit Rules In Favor of Trans Student in Virginia Restroom Access Case

RICHMOND, Va. - A federal court of appeals April 19 ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, a trans male student, in his challenge to Gloucester High School's discriminatory restroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers by requiring them to use "alternative, private" facilities.

"Today's 4th Circuit decision is a vindication for Gavin and a reinforcement of the Department of Education's policy," said Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU LGBT Project. "With this decision, we hope that schools and legislators will finally get the message that excluding transgender kids from the restrooms is unlawful sex discrimination."

The ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit marks the first time that a federal appeals court has determined that Title IX protects the rights of trans students to use sex segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. The 4th Circuit remanded the case for the district court to reevaluate Grimm's request for a preliminary injunction under the proper legal standard.

"I feel so relieved and vindicated by the court's ruling," said Grimm. "Today's decision gives me hope that my fight will help other kids avoid discriminatory treatment at school."

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia brought the case in June 2015 seeking a preliminary injunction so that Gavin may use the boys' restroom when school resumed for his junior year. In September, U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar ruled against Gavin by dismissing his Title IX claim but allowed his case, under the Equal Protection claim, to proceed.

Read the full ruling at

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