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Illinois joins amicus brief in trans student’s legal fight

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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday joined 22 other state attorneys general in an amicus brief supporting a Florida transgender teen.

Drew Adams sued the St. Johns County, Fla., school board when he was barred from using the boys’ restroom at school because of the board’s policy. Adams was prohibited from using the boys’ bathroom at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida, while he was a student. Adams is recognized as male on both his birth certificate and his driver’s license, has undergone gender confirmation surgery, uses the men’s bathroom in other public spaces, and was treated as a male in every way at school except for which bathroom he was allowed to use.  

The lawsuit alleges the school district violated Adams’ rights under the 14th Amendment and under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.

“Transgender students have the same rights as other students to receive an education without the fear of discrimination at school,” Raoul said in a press release. “I am committed to protecting the rights of transgender students and opposing unconstitutional edicts that discriminate against and exclude them.”

The brief argues that the experiences of the states in the brief show that policies that support transgender people lead to significant individual and societal benefits without jeopardizing student safety or privacy. This includes policies allowing transgender students to use sex-segregated bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Illinois requires equal restroom access for trans students.

Previously in this case, Raoul and the coalition filed an amicus brief in February 2019, in the panel phase of proceedings before the same court, arguing in favor of Adams.

Joining in the filing are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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