Update 5/23/18: After the Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts for further consideration, GLMA continued its support of the Gavin Grimm case by joining amicus briefs with major, leading health professional associations submitted to the lower federal courts. On May 23, 2018, a federal district court judge in Virginia ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, maintaining Title IX--the federal sex discrimination law that applies to education--prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and protects transgender students from exclusionary bathroom policies. GLMA congratulates both Gavin Grimm and the ACLU for their momentous win, and is proud to continue to support efforts to ensure transgender individuals are protected from sex discrimination.
* The full brief can be viewed here *
On March 2nd, 2017, GLMA proudly joined 19 other health professional associations in a friend-of-the-court brief to the US Supreme Court supporting Gavin Grimm and his efforts to be treated equally and fairly while he pursues his high school education.
The brief, anchored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, presents to the Supreme Court the scientific consensus about the appropriate treatment for transgender people diagnosed with gender dysphoria and the harms associated with denying a transgender person use of facilities, including restrooms, that correspond with the individual’s gender identity.
“The international medical consensus regarding treatment for gender dysphoria is to assist the patient to live in accordance with his or her gender identity…,” the brief states in part. “Access to single-sex facilities that correspond to one’s gender identity is a critical aspect of social transition and, thus, successful treatment of gender dysphoria.”
The signatories to the brief, in addition to GLMA and the AAP, is an impressive list of health professional associations that include the: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nursing, American Medical Women’s Association, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American College of Physicians, American Medical Student Association, American Nurses Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Public Health Association, Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs, Endocrine Society, Mental Health America, National Association of Social Workers, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and Society for Physician Assistants in Pediatrics.
As many of you know, Gavin Grimm is a male student at Gloucester High School in Virginia who is transgender. After originally securing permission and using the men’s restroom for seven weeks without incident, Gavin’s school board passed a new policy prohibiting him from using the boys’ restroom and forcing him to use separate single-stall restrooms that no other student is required to use.
The ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia sued on Gavin’s behalf, and in April 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Gavin’s favor. The US Supreme Court decided to hear this case late last year and oral arguments are set for March 28.
The brief outlines the significant physical and mental health harms associated with denying transgender individuals use of the appropriate restroom facilities. “…[E]vidence confirms that policies excluding transgender individuals from facilities consistent with their gender identity…have detrimental effects on the physical and mental health, safety, and well-being of transgender individuals,” the brief states.
This brief represents the collective weight and influence health professionals and their respective associations can have in presenting medical and scientific information in support of fair and equal treatment for transgender individuals, and the entire LGBT community. Collaborations with our colleague organizations like this one remain a top priority for GLMA and its work moving forward.
GLMA is grateful to the law firms Jenner & Block and Baker & Hostetler for their pro bono representation on this important brief.
Most of all, we are thankful for courageous individuals like Gavin Grimm, who simply desire to be treated with respect and dignity like everyone else. GLMA is proud to stand with Gavin.