CHICAGO – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 21 attorneys general, today filed an amicus brief in support of transgender students in Idaho and against an Idaho law that bars students from using school facilities consistent with their gender identity.
Raoul and the coalition filed their amicus brief supporting a seventh-grade transgender girl and the Boise High School Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) who argue that the law is discriminatory and inconsistent with equal protection principles.
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“Discriminatory laws that target transgender students and minors further stigmatize a community already facing high levels of harassment and bigotry,” Raoul said. “I will continue to oppose laws that attack transgender youth and will work to protect the rights of all LGBTQ+ youth.”
In their brief, Raoul and the coalition argue that that denying transgender girls and boys access to the same common restrooms that other girls and boys use is a violation of federal civil rights laws. They also argue that ensuring transgender people have access to public facilities consistent with their gender identity – including access to common restrooms – benefits all without compromising safety or privacy or imposing significant costs.
Raoul and the coalition highlight a 2015 U.S. survey – the largest survey of transgender people to date – that showed 77% of transgender youth reported being harassed or attacked. More than half reported experiencing verbal harassment, and nearly a quarter reported a physical attack. Approximately 13% – one in eight – reported being sexually assaulted. In addition, a 2016 study found that transgender people who had been denied access to bathroom facilities were approximately 40% more likely to have attempted suicide than other transgender people.
There are more than 1.6 million people in the U.S., including approximately 300,000 youth between 13 and 17, who identify as transgender. At least 22 states and Washington, D.C., and more than 370 municipalities nationwide, offer explicit protections against gender-identity discrimination in areas like education, housing, employment and more.
Joining Raoul in filing today’s brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
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