A federal judge in the US has issued a temporary injunction stopping a Pittsburgh school district from enforcing anti-transgender bathroom policies.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of transgender students Juliet Evancho, Elissa Ridenour and another student— only identified as A.S— against the Pine-Richland School District that had previously prohibited the plaintiffs from using the bathroom that matched their gender identity.
Juliet Evancho is also the sister of Jackie Evancho, the former America’s Got Talent contestant who sang at President Trump’s inauguration earlier this year.
US District Court Judge Mark R. Hornak said: “The Plaintiffs appear to the Court to be young people seeking to do what young people try to do every day — go to school, obtain an education, and interact as equals with their peers.
“[T]he Plaintiffs have shown a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the District’s enforcement of Resolution 2 as to their use of common school restrooms does not afford them equal protection of the law as guaranteed to them by the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Two of the students previously used the bathroom that corresponded with their gender without an issue, until a parent at their high school made a complaint in 2016.
The students are represented by LGBT+ legal service Lambda who has called the lawsuit “a huge win”.
“Notwithstanding the Trump Administration’s misguided and cruel actions last week, the court today found that the school’s policy barring transgender students from the restroom that matches who they are violates the equal protection clause of the US Constitution," said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan.
"The court recognised that policies that seek to erase a transgender student’s identity do not address any real problems, but rather only serve to discriminate and harm our youth.
“Such policies are not only wrong, they are illegal. The rescission of a guidance by the Trump administration cannot change that.”
Plaintiff Elissa Ridenour said in a statement that it was “wonderful news and a tremendous relief that we can now use the bathroom without feeling isolated and humiliated.”
“The past months have been incredibly stressful, and this was all so unnecessary. There was no problem before, and we are confident there will be no problem now.”