The Supreme Court on Monday handed the LGBTQ rights movement a victory, declining to hear an appeal that challenged the rights of transgender students to use the bathroom that reflects their gender identity.
The court declined, without comment, to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, who has been at the center of a long legal battle with the school board in Gloucester County, Virginia. Grimm was born female but identified as male after his freshman year in high school, legally changing his name and beginning hormone therapy.
The Gloucester County school board’s policy required Grimm to use restrooms that corresponded with his biological sex—female—or private bathrooms. Seven years ago, Grimm was barred from using the boys restroom when he was a 15-year-old student at Gloucester High School. He sued a year later, and his case has worked its way through the courts ever since.
After learning that the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, Grimm, now 22, said that his long court battle is over. “We won,” he tweeted. “Honored to have been part of this victory,” he added.
Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, representing Grimm, told the court that treating him differently by requiring him to use separate single-stall bathrooms singled him out “and stigmatized him as unfit to use the same restroom as his peers.”
“This is an incredible victory for Gavin and for transgender students around the country,” said Josh Block, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU.
LGBTQ rights advocates also hailed the court’s move on Monday.
“Everyone has the right to high-quality, public education without the fear of being discriminated against simply for being brave enough to show up as you truly are,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign.