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U.S. Supreme Court blocks transgender bathroom choice for now

Student Gavin Grimm, who was barred from using the boys' bathroom at his local high school in Gloucester County, Virginia, U.S. is seen in an undated photo. Grimm was born a female but identifies as a male. Crystal Cooper/ACLU of Virgina/Handout via REUTERS

BY DAVID INGRAM | REUTERS

A Virginia school board may temporarily block a student who was born a girl from using the boys’ bathroom while a legal fight over transgender rights proceeds on appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

The case is the first time the fight over transgender bathroom rights has reached the Supreme Court. The subject arrived in the heat of a U.S. presidential election in which the makeup of the court is a central issue.

In a brief order, the country’s highest court put on hold an order from a lower court that had permitted the high school student to use the bathroom of his choice.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of Gavin Grimm, 17, to challenge the Gloucester County School Board’s bathroom policy, which requires transgender students to use alternative restroom facilities.

A lawyer for Grimm, Joshua Block, said he and his client were disappointed by the order and “disappointed that Gavin is going to have to begin another school year being stigmatized and separated from his peers as a result of this policy.”

The school board in coastal Gloucester County, about 140 miles (225 km) south of Washington, D.C., welcomed the decision.

“The board continues to believe that …

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