DAYS OF LOT – A Judge in Maine Says “Boys Claiming Girlhood” May Use Girls’ Restroom

CaptureSchool officials violated state anti-discrimination law when they would not allow a transgender fifth-grader to use the girls’ bathroom, according to a ruling by the highest court in Maine that’s believed to be the first of its kind. The family of student Nicole Maines and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued in 2009 after school officials required her to use a staff, not student, restroom. “This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders’ Transgender Rights Project after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on Thursday. The court concluded that the Orono school district’s actions violated the Maine Human Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, overturning a lower court’s ruling that the district acted within its discretion. The ruling is the first time a state high court concluded that a transgender person should use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify, according to GLAD. Federal courts haven’t taken up the issue. Students at the southern Maine high school Nicole now attends stood up and cheered when news of the ruling was announced, said her father, Wayne Maines. School administrators across the country are grappling with the issue. Colorado officials said last year that a suburban Colorado Springs school district discriminated against a 6-year-old transgender girl by preventing her from using the girls’ bathroom. In California, there’s an effort afoot to try to repeal a law that allows public school students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their expressed genders. In the Maine case, Nicole Maines was using the girls’ bathroom in her elementary school until the grandfather of a fifth-grade boy complained to administrators. The Orono school district determined that she should use a staff bathroom, but her parents said that amounted to discrimination. Nicole is a biological male who identified as a girl beginning at age 2. More
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