A federal appeals court panel has ruled that a student must be allowed to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms of the opposite sex. The Richmond-based Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has
ruled that students are legally entitled to access the private facilities that correspond to their imaginary "gender identity."
The case involved a girl from the Gloucester County School District who says she identifies as a male. A lawsuit was brought on her behalf challenging a school district policy that students must use the bathroom appropriate to their gender or a single-stall unisex bathroom. She claimed that she suffered "psychological distress" when she used the girls' restroom.
In a ruling that completely contorts the meaning of the law, a majority of the three-judge panel ruled that the school district policy violates Title IX of federal education law. That statute prohibits schools that receive federal funding from discriminating against students based on their gender.
The majority opinion states that Title IX "requires schools to provide transgender students access to restrooms congruent with their gender identity," as opposed to what the court described as their "so-called biological sex." In fact, Title IX says exactly the opposite. Title IX specifically authorizes schools to have separate restrooms and locker rooms for boys and girls.
Judge Paul Niemeyer issued a forceful dissent to the ruling, pointing out the obvious fact that his fellow judges had turned upside down the clear language of Title IX and its regulations. "This holding completely tramples on all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes."
"This unprecedented holding overrules custom, culture, and the very demands inherent in human nature for privacy and safety, which the separation of such facilities is designed to protect," Niemeyer continued. "An individual has a legitimate and important interest in bodily privacy such that his or her nude or partially nude body, genitalia, and other private parts are not exposed to persons of the opposite biological sex. Courts have consistently recognized that the need for such privacy is inherent in the nature and dignity of humankind."
Judge Niemeyer was appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush. The judges who wrote the majority opinion, Henry Floyd and Andre Davis, were appointed by President Barack Obama.
The renegade federal court ruling comes in the wake of lawless conduct by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. That commission has issued a "guidance" to local school districts insisting that they must allow students to use the private facilities of their choosing, or forfeit their federal education funding. This dictatorial edict also flies in the face of the clear language of Title IX.
Matt Sharp, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, says that the 4th Circuit ruling is an unprecedented attack on human nature and common sense. "Protecting students' privacy while using restrooms, showers, or locker rooms is not only legal, it's an important duty of officials who watch over our children. The school district policy is right to not force students to share intimate settings with members of the opposite sex."