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Maine Supreme Court Rules That Transgender Student’s Rights Were Violated

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court today (Jan. 30) ruled that a transgender girl’s rights were violated when the fifth-grader was required to use a staff rest room instead of the girls’ bathroom. In 2009 a suit was filed by the family of Nicole Maines and the Maine Human Rights Commission. A state Superior Court judge previously ruled that the Orono school district acted within its discretion. A lawyer for the district said that it should be up to the Maine Legislature to clarify the issue.

Nicole is a biological male who identified as a girl beginning at age 2. As a teenager, she now attends school in southern Maine.

The court in their 5-1 ruling had to reconcile two separate state laws, one requiring separate bathrooms based on gender and the other prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Last year, Colorado officials ruled in a similar fashion that a school district discriminated against a 6-year-old transgender girl who was prevented from using a girls’ bathroom.

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