Changing Minnesota law to protect transgender students

In 2021, Gender Justice won two legal settlements, together totaling more than $500,000, on behalf of transgender students Nick and Matt. The settlements follow a decision from the state Court of Appeals in Gender Justice’s case, N.H. vs. Anoka Hennepin School District cementing protections for transgender students in Minnesota schools. The court ruled that it violates both the Minnesota Constitution and the Minnesota Human Rights Act for a school or school district to segregate transgender students from their peers in locker room and bathroom facilities. These wins have sent a clear message to Minnesota school districts: It is illegal — and expensive — to discriminate against transgender students.

Gender Justice also launched a public education campaign to inform students, their families, and their schools about increased legal protections for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students who are returning to Minnesota classrooms. The campaign, “New Year, New Law,” also seeks to provide transgender students and their families with concrete, easy-to-use resources to help them combat discrimination when and if it occurs.

For more information on the settlements, see:

Transgender Student Wins $300K Settlement over Discrimination by Anoka-Hennepin School District

Transgender Student Wins Settlement Over Discrimination by Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District

Opposing anti-trans legislation targeting student athletes in Pennsylvania

The Women’s Law Project is fighting recently introduced legislation that targets gender-diverse teen and child student athletes in Pennsylvania, sending a letter to members of the Pennsylvania House Education Committee imploring them to oppose the legislation. WLP litigation includes the representation of women athletes who have been denied athletic opportunities at their schools in violation of Title IX, the Equal Rights Amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Read more from Women’s Law Project.

Winning Minnesota Court victory for transgender students

Gender Justice and ACLU of MN filed an amicus brief with the state Court of Appeals arguing the Anoka-Hennepin School District violated the MN constitution by barring N.H., who was on the boys’ swimming team, from using the locker room that matched his gender identity. This ruling finds it unconstitutional in MN to segregate transgender students from their peers in locker room facilities.

Read more about this major decision.

Helping pass legislation to ensure access to gender affirming care in Washington

In coalition with state legislatures, community leaders and community-based organizations, Legal Voice successfully advocated for the passage of SB 5313, the Gender Affirming Treatment Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation that works to eliminate insurance coverage discrimination for trans people by preventing insurance carriers in WA state from automatically denying medically necessary gender affirming care as cosmetic.

Litigating impact cases to challenge discrimination against trans youth athletes

Legal Voice and Gender Justice cases (Hecox v. Little and Cooper v. USAPL) have garnered widespread media coverage and support from health care, women’s rights, and civil rights organizations and current and former athletes, including Billie Jean King and Megan Rapinoe.

“Trans women belong in women’s sports, and their right to compete is supported by the International Olympic Committee, the International Powerlifting Federation’s Executive Committee, as well as federal and Minnesota state law,” Jess Braverman, legal director at Gender Justice, said in a statement. “USA Powerlifting’s ban on transgender athletes is not only illegal, it’s also rooted in outdated gender stereotypes that harm all women athletes.”

Transgender athlete sues after being excluded by USA Powerlifting. – The Hill

Winning legal challenge to religious group’s claim of ministerial exemption to discriminate against employees due to sexual orientation

Legal Voice was co-counsel in the case challenging Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission after they told lawyer and longtime volunteer Matt Woods not to apply for an attorney position in their Open Door Legal Services program because of his sexual orientation. The Washington Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Woods, making it clear that religious employers do not have the unfettered right to discriminate against a group of people based on their belief systems.

Read Legal Voice’s press release for more information.


The CPC Industry as a Surveillance Tool of the Post-Roe State

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