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State Supreme Court jumps into open-restrooms fight

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The Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to look into a dispute over a local school district’s pro-transgender agenda, in which officials on the Fairfax County School Board adopted protections for “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and even “gender expression.”

 

And the decision should be viewed as a warning to other districts, according to officials with Liberty Counsel, which brought the case.

 

It developed when the Fairfax district chose to pursue a “new policy and code of conduct” that vaguely protects a male who says he is female, or vice versa.

 

Liberty Counsel brought the arguments on behalf of a Christian activist, Andrea Lafferty of Traditional Values Coalition, as well as the student, whose identity is being protected with the pseudonym Jack Doe.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court already has blocked a pro-transgender mandate in another case in Virginia, and is considering whether to do a full review of the fight, and federal courts in North Carolina and Texas have blocked the move in other separate cases.

 

See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

 

In Virginia, the Fairfax case was dismissed at the district court level by a judge who claimed there was a 30-day limit on protests over school board actions.

 

However, Liberty Counsel argued to the state Supreme Court that limit doesn’t apply to such policy changes, and the court appeared to agree.

 

Virginia follows the “Dillon’s Rule,” which requires local nondiscrimination laws to not be more stringent than the state law, the legal team explained.

 

Since state law does not include “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” or “gender expression,” the lawsuit was filed.

 

The dispute over that issue also is not, Liberty Counsel argued, subject to the 30-day time limit.

 

“During the oral argument, the Virginia Supreme Court zeroed in on that issue and similarly appeared to agree that a Dillon’s Rule challenge cannot be limited to a 30-day window. If it were limited, the school board could pass illegal policies that conflict with state law during the summer break when there are no students on campus to challenge the law. The illegal act would be grandfathered in which doesn’t make any sense,” the organization reported.

 

“This is very good news that the Virginia Supreme Court decided to grant the appeal and will now review the case,” said Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel’s founder. “The Fairfax Country School Board’s lawless act of adding ‘gender identity, expression and sexual orientation’ to the local policy violates state law and harms children. This is a matter of statewide and national concern.”

 

He said, “The fact that the Virginia Supreme Court decided to take up this case should be a warning to other local Virginia school boards and government bodies to back away from following the path of Fairfax County.”

 

The case itself involves concerns that the student is being threatened with punishment if he says something wrong to, or about, a naked girl or woman in a boys’ restroom or locker room.

 

“Because the new policy and code of conduct are not sufficiently defined, Jack Doe has no way of knowing whether he can, for example, question someone who appears to be a girl using the boys’ restroom or locker room, refer to someone by a certain pronoun or even compliment someone on his/her attire without being subject to discipline for ‘discrimination,'” the lawsuit alleges.

 

“Jack Doe is nervous about having to think about every statement or action and its potential sexual connotations to third parties before interacting with students and teachers, and the prospect of having to interact in such an uncertain environment creates significant distress to the point that it adversely affects his ability to participate in and benefit from the educational program.”

 

It names as defendants the Fairfax County School Board, which some months ago added to its nondiscrimination policy and student handbook the new demands regarding transgenders.

 

School officials threatened to suspend students for engaging in discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation or even gender expression.

 

See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

 

“Jack Doe is particularly distressed about the board’s decision to add ‘gender identity’ to the nondiscrimination policy and to the student code of conduct because ‘gender identity’ is not defined in either the policy or the code, so Jack Doe has no idea what words or conduct might be interpreted as discriminating on the basis of ‘gender identity,'” the lawsuit explains.

 

Lawyers for Liberty Counsel have explained there is nothing in state law or Title IX, the federal law that bars sexual discrimination in education, to prevent a school from defining restroom use based on physical gender.

 

“Jack Doe is terrified of the thought of having to share intimate spaces with students who have the physical features of a girl, seeing such conduct as an invasion of his privacy, invasion of fellow students’ privacy and a violation of the though[t] patterns and understanding about male and female relationships which are part of his cultural values.”

 

The action also explains that the school board does not have the authority to create protected classes beyond what the state legislature has done, and that group has not “included either sexual orientation or ‘gender identity’ as protected classes.'”

 

WND reported just days earlier that a Minnesota school had been named in another lawsuit over the same issue.

 

There, the allegations are that the the Virginia, Minnesota, School District adopted a redefinition of the word “sex” to allow “Student X,” a boy, to enter girls’ facilities at will.

 

But students and parents objected, writing in a complaint that the district was allowing a partially clothed boy to “twerk” in front of female classmates while they changed their clothes.

 

That case, by the Alliance Defending Freedom, is not the only fight for the ADF. It already had filed cases against school districts in Illinois and Ohio over the same issue, which is the Obama administration’s attempt to rewrite the federal Title IX law concerning education.

 

The law bans discrimination based on sex in public schools, but Obama is interpreting “sex” to also mean “gender identity” to allow boys who say they are girls to enter girls restrooms, lockers and showers.

 

The core of the Obama administration’s argument is that Congress, when it adopted Title IX in 1972, intended for boys to enter girls restrooms and girls to enter boys’ facilities when it banned discrimination based on “sex.”

 

That interpretation was never argued prior to the Obama administration’s campaign for transgenders.

 

ADF said: “The DOE and DOJ base their threats against school districts on the agencies’ inaccurate interpretation of Title IX, a 1972 federal law intended to protect women from invidious discrimination and that flatly prohibits schools from discriminating ‘on the basis of sex.’ Contrary to what the DOE and DOJ are saying, Title IX’s existing regulations specifically state that a school receiving federal funds can ‘provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex’ without putting that funding at risk.”

 

The Obama administration’s agenda also is being used against churches in at least two states. State officials in both Massachusetts and Iowa have threatened churches that they must acknowledge and accommodate men who say they are women if they have any secular activities at their facility – activities such as spaghetti dinners.

 

In those locations already, state officials have claimed that churches are “places of public accommodation,” and they must follow the non-discrimination agenda imposed by the state.

 

In Iowa, state officials even made they claim that they could determine what is religious for a church, and what is not, in order to apply their rules.

 

The churches have been fighting back in court already.

 

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