This morning the Supreme Court announced that it will not hear a landmark case on transgender rights. This comes after President Donald Trump’s administration changed the federal government’s position on whether public schools should allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
In light of the new guidance from Trump, the order, merely a sentence in length, vacates the Supreme Court’s appeals court decision in favor of transgender boy Gavin Grimm and sent the case back for further consideration. Grimm was the main plaintiff in a case that, it was hoped, would settle the “bathroom debate.” The case pitted Grimm against the school board in Gloucester County, VA, and the outcome could have greatly expanded, or rolled back, transgender rights across the United States.
The case, agreed to be heard by the Supreme Court back in October, would have taken place this month and would also have been the first case of transgender rights ever heard by the Supreme Court. The question it would have answered was whether Grimm should be allowed to use the boy’s bathroom.
Other similar cases are planned in the future, including a challenge to a North Carolina law that requires transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with what is written on their birth certificates. This outrageously transphobic law was the subject of protests last year.
In 2016 Former President Obama issued a guidance to schools across the country in a “Dear Colleagues” letter. The letter informed schools that, by refusing to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that conformed with their gender identity, schools were in violation of the 1972 Title IX provisions which bans discrimination “on the basis of sex” in schools that receive federal funds. This also applies to gender identity.
Last month Trump rescinded the guidance in the first transphobic act of his presidency. This was a cheap blow which pandered to anti-LGBT conservatives. This development is a major setback for transgender rights in America, which have already been disrupted by this ridiculous bathroom debate.
Transgender people often have a hard time growing up, as there is a lot of confusion over their personal identities. Allowing them to use the bathroom of their choice is a small but really important step towards letting them be the gender they identify with. Removing that merely perpetuates their gender dysphoria and increases the chances of depression and suicide, which are commonplace in the transgender community. Trump could quickly end this debate and help thousands of young transgender students on their way to becoming the person they know they are. Instead, he does the opposite. Shame on you, Donald Trump!