Maine’s highest court Thursday that school officials who prevented a transgender student from using the girls’ bathroom violated state anti-discrimination laws.
In the first ruling of its kind, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court concluded that a transgender person should use the bathroom consistent with the gender with which they identified. The decision overturned a lower court’s ruling which found that the school district acted within its discretion.
Fifth-grade student Nicole Maines, her family and the Maine Human Rights Commission filed a lawsuit in 2009 after school officials required Maines to use a staff bathroom.
“This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the Boston-based Transgender Rights Project for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, GLAD, after the court ruling on Thursday.
GLAD said the decision marks the first time that a state high court concluded that transgender people have the right to use the bathroom of their choice.