Judge: Children being seen naked by someone of opposite biological sex not a privacy breach

Judge: Children being seen naked by someone of opposite biological sex not a privacy breach
Girls' locker room (Image: YouTube screen grab)

It’s hard to imagine that the case won’t ultimately end up in the Supreme Court. On the plaintiffs’ side are high school students who claim to experience “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, intimidation, fear, apprehension, and stress” when required to share a “restroom with students of the opposite sex.”

On the defendant’s side is Elliot Yoder, a biologically female student who in 2015 publicly said she identified as a boy and asked to begin using the boys’ facilities. The school said yes. Parents and others in the community disapproved and sought to undo the policy at school board meetings. When that failed, they sued.

And now a federal judge has spoken. Via The New York Times:

In a 56-page opinion released Tuesday, Judge Marco A. Hernández of Federal District Court in Portland said that transgender students should be allowed to use bathrooms that match the gender they identify with.

“Forcing transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity,” he wrote, “would undoubtedly harm those students and prevent them from equally accessing educational opportunities and resources.” One might reasonably make the counterargument that forcing teenagers, and especially females, to undress in the presence of an anatomically different individual might do equivalent, if not greater, harm, but the judge wasn’t having any, writing:

High school students do not have a fundamental privacy right to not share school restrooms, lockers, and showers with transgender students whose biological sex is different than theirs.

The ruling applies not only to restrooms but to showers and locker rooms.

So far, the high court had stayed out of the fight over who gets to use which bathroom, declining to hear a case that would decide whether a transgender “boy” in Virginia could use the boys’ bathroom at his high school. Something tells me that is about to change.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


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