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ACLU responds to filing of lawsuit regarding transgender student locker room access
From a press release
2016-05-04

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Statement of Edwin C. Yohnka

Director of Communications and Public Policy

Re: Lawsuit against District 211 regarding transgender student access

May 4, 2016

Today's lawsuit is a sad development by groups opposed to fair and humane treatment of all students, including those who are transgender. Over the past few weeks, a federal appellate court and the Chicago Public Schools have definitively embraced the idea that affirming the gender identity of all students, including by permitting students who are transgender access the appropriate rest room and locker room facilities, is not only legally required but also educationally beneficial for all students. The Alliance Defending Freedom and the Thomas More Society ignore this reality, as well as the reality that an overwhelming percentage of students accept their transgender peers — including in their bathrooms and locker rooms. It is only a small percentage of adults who insist on perpetuating these non-controversies by perpetuating ugly distortions about a vulnerable group of young people.

We have seen these sorts of publicity stunts from these groups in the past. Some in Illinois will recall their lawsuit demanding that the State use public funds to permit some Catholic Charities organizations to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples in adoption services. The Thomas More Society made specious arguments against the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples in our state. In these matters, and again today, these two groups seek to stigmatize and ostracize those they dislike, ignoring both the facts and the law on the side of equality and justice. We expect that today's lawsuit will meet the same unsuccessful end as the previous efforts to peddle fear and divisiveness. We are confident that fairness for students who are transgender will prevail.

Edwin C. Yohnka

Director of Communications and Public Policy

American Civil LIberties Union of Illinois

312.201.9740, ext. 305

eyohnka@aclu-il.org


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