Illinois joins amicus briefs supporting LGBTQ students

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Illinois Attorney General's Building in Springfield. Photo by Tom Wray
The Illinois Attorney General's building in Springfield. Photo by Tom Wray

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced Friday that Illinois had joined other states in amicus briefs against LGBTQ student discrimination.

Raoul said the state was joining two coalitions opposing an Indiana school district barring transgender students from using the restrooms they need to and Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“Across the country, we are seeing increased attacks on the rights of LGBTQ+ youth,” he said in a statement. “Discrimination has no place in the classroom – period. I will continue to work with fellow attorneys general from across the country to stand up for the rights of all students and will vehemently oppose unjust policies that jeopardize the education and emotional and physical well-being of LGBTQ+ students.”

Raoul joined 22 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the case A.C. v. Metropolitan School District of Martinsville opposing the school district’s efforts to bar a 13-year-old trans male student from using the boys’ restroom. The brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, argues for the court to affirm a lower court ruling requiring the Metropolitan School District of Martinsville to allow the student to use the boys’ bathroom.

Other attorneys general in the brief include 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 and Washington.

He has also joined another coalition of 16 states opposing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law which prevents classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity. They argue in their brief that the Florida law is extreme and causes significant harms to students, parents, teachers and other states. The coalition notes non-inclusive educational environments have severe negative health impacts on LGBTQ students, resulting in increased rates of mental health disorders and suicide attempts.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Oregon.

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