Attorney General Bonta Stands Up Against Legislation Targeting Transgender Students’ Rights

Dec 12, 2023

Attorney General Bonta Stands Up Against Legislation Targeting Transgender Students’ Rights

Staff writer

Printed December 12, 2023

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has joined forces with 21 attorneys general to oppose Idaho’s Senate Bill 1100 (SB 1100), which prohibits transgender students in K-12 public and charter schools from using facilities that align with their gender identity. The appeal comes after the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho denied a motion for a preliminary injunction against the discriminatory law. The coalition’s amicus brief argues that SB 1100 violates the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX, resulting in serious harm for transgender youth.

According to Attorney General Bonta, legislation that denies transgender students access to facilities consistent with their gender identity is not only unlawful but also detrimental to their well-being. He emphasizes the commitment to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, fighting against discriminatory school policies, and ensuring gender-affirming care.

SB 1100 joins a concerning trend of discriminatory legislation targeting transgender children across the United States. Over 1.6 million people in the country, including approximately 300,000 youth between the ages of 13 and 17, identify as transgender. Unfortunately, transgender youth face higher levels of discrimination, violence, and harassment compared to their cisgender peers. This discrimination leads to both physical and mental harm. In contrast to Idaho’s discriminatory law, all California schools must permit students to use facilities in accordance with their gender identity.

The amicus brief submitted by the coalition supports the plaintiffs’ efforts to block the enforcement of SB 1100. It argues that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause by stigmatizing transgender students and denying them access to common school facilities. Additionally, the brief contends that the law violates Title IX by denying transgender students equal access to facilities used by other boys and girls. It also highlights how inclusive laws and policies, like those in California, provide benefits without compromising the privacy and safety of others.

Attorney General Bonta has a history of defending the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ youth. He successfully secured a ruling against the mandatory gender identity disclosure policy of the Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education in San Bernardino. The court held that such policies likely violate transgender and gender nonconforming students’ right to equal protection under the California Constitution and result in irreparable harm. He has also supported Maryland’s LGBTQ+-inclusive curriculum policy and joined other amicus briefs in cases defending transgender students’ rights.

The amicus brief filed by Attorney General Bonta and the coalition includes attorneys general from 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. It highlights the determination of these attorneys general to protect the rights of vulnerable communities and ensure equal treatment for all.

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