DOJ Thinks Transgender Students Should Be Allowed to Use Bathroom of Gender They Identify With

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.