Judge issues injunction against Pennsylvania district in transgender case

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By Brendan O’Brien

<span class="articleLocation”>Three transgender high school students in
suburban Pittsburgh can use bathrooms that match their gender
identity as their federal case against their school district
proceeds in court, a judge ruled on Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Hornak ordered the
Pine-Richland School District to stop enforcing a rule adopted
in September for students to use facilities corresponding to
their biological sex or unisex facilities, court documents
showed.

The ruling comes five days after President Donald Trump’s
administration revoked landmark guidance to public schools
allowing transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice,
reversing a signature initiative of former Democratic President
Barack Obama.

The high school seniors – Juliet Evancho, Elissa Ridenour
and a transgender boy, referred to only as A.S. – filed a
federal lawsuit in October, saying the district’s policy was
unconstitutional and discriminated against them.

“This is wonderful news and a tremendous relief that we can
now use the bathroom without feeling isolated and humiliated,”
Ridenour said in a statement after the ruling.

Hornak granted a preliminary injunction against the
district, saying the three had demonstrated a likelihood of
success for their claim that it violated their
constitutionally-guaranteed rights of equal protection, court
documents showed.

The students “appear to the court to be young people seeking
to do what young people try to do every day – go to school,
obtain an education, and interact as equals with their peers,”
Hornak, a judge of the Western District of Pennsylvania, wrote
in his 48-page opinion.

Similar legal battles are being fought across the country as
school officials and lawmakers debate whether transgender people
should be allowed use of facilities that correspond with their
gender identity rather than their birth sex.

Juliet Evancho is the sister of Jackie Evancho, who sang the
U.S. national anthem at Trump’s inauguration in January, and
weighed in on his decision last week, making a request on social
network Twitter to meet the president.



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