It's been a big week for transgender people in terms of government entities conversing and making decisions about civil rights issues that are important to the community. (Last week, the marriage equality win
, and on Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it'd start housing transgender detainees
in the facility that matches their gender identity.)
The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest
yesterday in federal court, saying that, under Title IX
, transgender students should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. This news comes from a press release from the American Civil Liberties Union, which is involved in a lawsuit in Virginia at the moment on behalf of a transgender high school student
asking for those rights.
“There is a public interest in ensuring that all students, including transgender students, have the opportunity to learn in an environment free of sex discrimination," the DOJ statement says.
There have been a few wins for local transgender students attending Sunnyside, Tucson Unified and Flowing Wells school districts. They have all added gender identity to the districts' non-discrimination policies, which includes the bathroom dilemma. (I did a story on that
last year while at Arizona Public Media.)
The problem is that there are no anti-discrimination laws at a federal level with the words sexual orientation or gender identity. And, at when it comes to states, most, including Arizona, don't have these in place.