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December 1, 2023 - OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Wednesday joined 21 attorneys general in opposing Idaho’s Senate Bill 1100 (SB 1100), cadoj1201a state law that prohibits transgender students in K-12 public and charter schools from using multi-use restrooms and other school facilities that correspond with their gender identity. The plaintiffs, a 12-year-old transgender girl and the Sexuality and Gender Alliance at Boise High School, appealed the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho’s denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction against SB 1100 to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The coalition’s amicus brief asserts that SB 1100 violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX, and describes the serious harms to transgender youth that result from unlawful discrimination on the basis of an individual’s gender identity.

“Legislation that denies transgender students access to school facilities consistent with their gender identity is unlawful and seriously harmful to their well-being,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Despite the growing assault on LGBTQ+ rights nationwide, today’s coalition underscores our ongoing commitment to ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all. From fighting discriminatory school policies to ensuring gender-affirming care, my office will continue to stand up against efforts seeking to jeopardize the rights of our most vulnerable communities.”

SB 1100 is part of a dangerous wave of discriminatory legislation across the U.S. targeting transgender children. Over 1.6 million people in the United States, including approximately 300,000 youth between the ages of 13 and 17, identify as transgender. Transgender youth suffer levels of discrimination, violence, and harassment that far exceed those experienced by their cisgender counterparts. That kind of discrimination predictably inflicts physical and mental harms. Legislation that prevents transgender students from using sex-segregated facilities, including restrooms, consistent with their gender identity is unnecessary and unlawful. In contrast to Idaho’s discriminatory law, all California schools must permit students to use sex-segregated facilities consistent with the student’s gender identity. 

In their amicus brief today, the coalition supported the plaintiffs' effort to block the enforcement of SB 1100, arguing that the law:

  • Violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by stigmatizing transgender students and denying them access to common school facilities based on their gender identity.
  • Violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by denying transgender boys and girls access to the same common facilities that other boys and girls may use.
  • Fails to recognize how inclusive laws and policies — such as those in California — produce important benefits without compromising the privacy and safety of others.

Attorney General Bonta is committed to defending the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ youth:

  • In October, Attorney General Bonta secured a ruling from the San Bernardino Superior Court enjoining Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education’s mandatory gender identity disclosure policy. The Court held that such disclosure policies are likely to violate transgender and gender nonconforming students’ right to equal protection under the California Constitution and can result in irreparable harm to those students. Attorney General Bonta had previously secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the policy. The Superior Court’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General challenging the enforcement of CVUSD’s forced outing policy. Prior to filing the lawsuit, Attorney General Bonta opened a civil rights investigation into the legality of the CVUSD’s adoption of the policy. Prior to opening the investigation, Attorney General Bonta in July sent a letter to Superintendent Norman Enfield and the Board of Education cautioning them of the dangers of adopting the forced outing policy and explaining that the policy potentially infringed on students' privacy rights and educational opportunities.
  • Attorney General Bonta has issued statements following Dry Creek Joint Elementary School DistrictRocklin Unified School DistrictAnderson Union High School District, and Temecula Valley and Murrieta Valley Unified School District Boards’ decision to implement copy-cat mandatory gender identity disclosure policies targeting transgender and gender-nonconforming students. 
  • In October, Attorney General Bonta joined a coalition in support of a Maryland board of education’s policy that permits schools to incorporate LGBTQ+-inclusive books into language arts curriculum to reflect the diversity of the school community.
  • In October, Attorney General Bonta joined a multistate amicus brief in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the rights of transgender students in Doe v. Mukwonago Area School District, challenging a Wisconsin school board’s policy barring an 11-year-old transgender student from using the girls’ restroom based on her sex assigned at birth.
  • In October, Attorney General Bonta joined a multistate amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of plaintiffs in Doe v. Horne, challenging Arizona’s recently-enacted legislation prohibiting transgender students from participating on women’s and girls’ school athletic teams.
  • In September, Attorney General Bonta led a multistate coalition of 20 attorneys general in opposing a state law in Indiana that severely blocks the ability of transgender youth to access critical, lifesaving gender-affirming care.
  • In August, Attorney General Bonta led a multistate coalition in filing an amicus brief opposing state laws in Kentucky and Tennessee restricting transgender youths' access to critical and lifesaving healthcare.
  • In June, Attorney General Bonta joined a coalition in support of the Ludlow School Committee’s efforts to create a safe and supportive environment for transgender children and all students.
  • In May, Attorney General Bonta led a multistate coalition in supporting a challenge to a Florida rule restricting access to gender-affirming care and joined another multistate coalition defending a Colorado law that prohibits gay and transgender conversion therapy on children and youth.
  • In January, Attorney General Bonta joined a coalition in support of a Maryland board of education’s efforts to create a safe and supportive environment for transgender children and all students.

In filing the amicus brief, Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of New York, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

A copy of the amicus brief is available here.
Source: CA. DOJ