Transgender Student in Maine May Use Bathroom that Matches Gender Identity - Are Co-Ed Bathrooms Next?

16 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2014 Last revised: 22 Jan 2015

Catherine Jean Archibald

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Date Written: March 3, 2014

Abstract

This is an exciting time for the transgender rights movement. The law is increasingly forbidding discrimination based on gender identity and/or gender expression. As a result, transgender individuals are starting to win the right to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. Last summer, California’s governor signed a law that allows transgender youth to participate in sex-segregated sports, and use sex-segregated locker rooms and bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity. Also last summer, the Colorado Civil Rights Division became the first government body in the country to rule that a six-year-old transgender girl, born a boy, must be allowed to use the girls’ bathroom at her school. In the beginning of 2014, the high court in Maine became the first state court in the country to rule that a transgender student who was born a boy but identifies as a girl has the right to use the girls’ bathroom at school.

This Article will examine this new trend and discuss whether it could, and should, lead to co-ed bathrooms throughout the country. The Article will conclude that desegregating bathrooms would significantly alleviate harm currently caused to transgender individuals and others and that, furthermore, desegregated bathrooms are constitutionally required under the Equal Protection Guarantees contained within the United States Constitution.

Keywords: transgender, Fourteenth Amendment, bathroom, equal protection, sex discrimination

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Archibald, Catherine Jean, Transgender Student in Maine May Use Bathroom that Matches Gender Identity - Are Co-Ed Bathrooms Next? (March 3, 2014). 83 University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review 57-71 (2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2416610

Catherine Jean Archibald (Contact Author)

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law ( email )

651 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226
United States

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