The United States Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked a federal judge’s order that permitted a transgender high school student to use the bathroom of his choice, the first time the issue has reached the country’s highest court.
Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old student from Gloucester County, Virginia, was born a girl but now identifies as a boy. The American Civil Liberties Union took up Grimm’s case and a federal appeals court ruled in April that Grimm was allowed to use the boy’s bathrooms at the school.
The Virginia school challenged the federal court order and now the Supreme Court has put a hold
Lawyers from the school board claimed that allowing transgender students access to bathrooms of their choice deprived parents the right to choose if their child is “exposed to members of the opposite biological sex.”
Grimm has legally changed his name and undertaken hormone therapy. “Gavin is going to have to begin another school year being stigmatized and separated from his peers as a result of this policy,” said Joshua Block, Grimm’s lawyer.
While the blocked order is a setback for Grimm and transgender rights, it is not the final ruling on the issue. The case will go back to the federal appeals courts where it was in April.
In May, President Barack Obama’s administration wrote to schools across the U.S. explaining that transgender students should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice or schools will be at risk of losing federal government funding.