Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) filed an amicus brief in the Eleventh Circuit in support of Drew Adams, a transgender man who sued the St. Johns County School Board when he was a student over its use of a discriminatory bathroom policy that prohibits Adams from using the boys’ bathroom. LDF’s brief, an updated version of an amicus brief filed in support of Mr. Adams in February 2019, notes some of the similarities between exclusions of transgender kids and racial segregation and explains the harm and stigma of being physically excluded from communal spaces.
“Excluding transgender students from communal facilities and forcing them to use separate restrooms is alienating and discriminatory,” said LDF Litigation Fellow Alexsis Johnson. “All students, regardless of gender identity, must be allowed to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity. By prohibiting this basic affirming act, schools insinuate that transgender students’ identities are somehow less legitimate, or ‘other.’ We support Mr. Adams’ effort to ensure this basic right for trans students across the country.”
Drew Adams cited how, as a trans student, the school district’s policy, which would force him to use either the girls’ restroom or a single-stall gender-neutral restroom, made him feel singled out and humiliated. He sued the school district in 2017, arguing that its bathroom policy violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX. A district court held that the policies violated both provisions, and a split panel of the Eleventh Circuit agreed. The Eleventh Circuit recently agreed to rehear the case en banc.
Read LDF’s amicus brief in support of Drew Adams here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.