- January 30, 2014
Post submitted by Angelica Bailey, HRC Legal Fellow
Maine’s highest court ruled today that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls’ restroom at her school violated her rights under Maine’s Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, which includes “a person’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression.” Parents of Susan Doe filed the lawsuit after officials at an elementary school denied Susan, a transgender girl who was then in fifth grade, use of the girls’ restroom.
“What happened to my daughter was extremely painful for her and our whole family, but we can now close this very difficult chapter in our lives,” said Susan’s father. “We are very happy knowing that because of this ruling, no other transgender child in Maine will have to endure what [his daughter] experienced.” The decision in John Doe et al. v. Regional School Unit 26 marks the first time a state court has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathrooms that match who they are.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and Jodi L. Nofsinger of Berman & Simmons, P.A. represented Susan in the lawsuit. You can read the full decision here.