Six Year Old Transgender Student Wins Right to Use Preferred Bathroom
The Colorado Civil Rights Division has determined that an elementary school cannot bar a transgender student from using their preferred bathroom.
The case comes in response to a complaint lodged by the parents of Coy Mathius, a six year old child who was assigned male at birth and identifies as female, when Eagleside Elementary School refused to let Coy use the girls' bathroom. The school said that Coy could use the boy's bathroom or a gender-neutral staff bathroom. The Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 supported the school's decision.
In a strongly-worded decision, the Colorado Civil Rights Division found that the Fountain-Ford district had violated a 2008 anti-discrimination statute that included protections for transgender individuals. The division director Steven Chavez wrote in the decision, "that she must disregard her identity while performing one of the most essential human functions constitutes severe and pervasive treatment, and creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive." He continued arguing that the district's actions "creates a barrier where none should exist, and entirely disregards the charging party's gender identity."
Kathryn Mathias, Coy's mother who has also home-schooled Coy since the case started, told reporters, "When I told Coy we won, she got this giant smile and her eyes bugged out. She said, 'So I can go to school and make friends?'"
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/24/2013; Reuters 6/24/2013; New York Times 6/23/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .