“A final order has been issued in a transgender student’s lawsuit against the Orono School Department (Maine) over the denial of her access to the girl’s bathroom in grade school and middle school.
The Penobscot County Superior Court order, dated Nov. 25, enjoined the school department from discriminating against other students as it did against Nicole Maines, 17, who lives and attends private school in Cumberland County.
The court also awarded $75,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in Boston, which represented the girl and her parents.
“A significant portion of the monetary award will go to the Maines’ family,” Carisa Cunningham, spokeswoman for GLAD, said Monday. She declined to say exactly how much the organization would retain and how much would go to the family.”
Earlier this year Nicole Maines picked up a community organizing award: https://lexiecannes.com/2014/03/08/pioneering-trans-student-picks-up-community-organizing-award/
(Original article) In a decision that has been eagerly awaited for by transgender advocates nationwide, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that trans students can use the school bathroom which she or he identifies with. The court overwhelmingly found the lower court erred in a previous ruling by siding with the Orono school district in banning trans student Nicole Maines from using the girls bathroom.
Maines’ lawyers stated this is the first court to rule it is unlawful to force a transgender student to use the bathroom of his or her birth gender when he or she identifies as the other. In addition, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine stated that the decision is a rare case of a court ruling making law.
The ACLU’s Zachary Heiden: “The Law Court made very good law here and it’s going to help not only the people involved in this case.”
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders of Boston and GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project represented Maines in the case.
This is a landmark ruling establishing precedent for school districts elsewhere. Engaging in expensive legal battles to continue existing oppressive policies may no longer be viable options.
Tip of the hat to Paulina Ashley Angel.
Update Dec. 1, 2014: https://bangordailynews.com/2014/12/01/news/court/nicole-maines-transgender-student-maine-lawsuit-ends-with-order-telling-school-to-allow-bathroom-access-based-on-gender-identification/
My previous report on the Maines case: https://lexiecannes.com/2013/06/16/transgender-community-awaits-maines-high-court-decision/
Maines family gets award from the ACLU: https://lexiecannes.com/2011/10/19/maine-aclu-awards-transgender-girl-and-family-highest-award-prompted-by-school-bathroom-incident/
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