January 30, 2014

TLDEF Applauds Landmark Ruling for Transgender Students in Maine

Nicole Maines

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is praising today’s Maine Supreme Court ruling, which said that denying a transgender girl access to the girls’ bathroom at school is a violation of her rights under Maine’s Human Rights Act. The case, Doe v. Clenchy, was brought by the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) on behalf of Nicole Maines, who was denied use of the girls’ bathroom as a fifth grader at her Orono, Maine elementary school.

TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman issued this statement in response to the decision:

“This ruling marks a huge breakthrough for transgender people everywhere and we thank Nicole, her family and GLAD for this victory. Schools have a responsibility to create learning environments that allow all students to succeed. For transgender students, this includes access to school facilities and programs that match who they truly are as girls and boys.

“This is a momentous decision. It is the first time a state court has declared it unlawful to deny a transgender student access to the bathroom that matches who she is. It follows on the heels of the Colorado Civil Rights Division’s groundbreaking June 2013 ruling in favor of 6-year-old Coy Mathis, whose school had barred her from using the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school because she is transgender. It sends a powerful message to schools around the country that transgender girls and boys need to be treated just like all girls and boys at school.”