Friday, March 03, 2017

They Have Our Back… (Part 2)

With the Grimm’s Supreme Court case coming down to the wire the amicus curiae "friend of the court" briefs are coming in and some of them from a surprising source.
Salt Lake leaders file brief supporting transgender bathroom access
Position runs counter to brief filed by Utah and LDS Church
Deseret News
By McKenzie Romero
Published: March 2, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City leaders joined 31 other cities, counties and mayors Thursday in a "friend of the court" brief to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that transgender students should be able to choose which use bathrooms they use at school.

The amicus brief runs counter to those signed in January by faith leaders, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and state attorneys general, including Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski reiterated the city's committment to protecting LGBT rights and defending "principles of equality" in a prepared statement Thursday.

"This is no longer an issue of states' rights, it's an issue of equality and education," Biskupski said. "We should be focusing on helping our kids access books and not trying to control where they go to the bathroom."

The Salt Lake City School District currently has a gender nondiscrimination policy in place, which includes gender identity, according to the mayor's office.

The brief was filed in the case of Gavin Grim, a 17-year-old transgender boy in Virginia, who is challenging a policy from the Gloucester County School Board ordering him to use a single-stall restroom rather than the boys' restrooms at school. Gavin was born female but identifies as male.
And then there are corporations that back him.
Silicon Valley backs transgender rights in Supreme Court case
More than half the 53 companies that signed a brief supporting Gavin Grimm's case are from the tech industry.
By Erin Carson
March 2, 2017

Tech is throwing its support behind transgender rights in connection with an upcoming US Supreme Court case.

The Human Rights Campaign said Thursday that 53 companies signed an amicus brief in support of Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy from Virginia, who sued his school board in Gloucester County over the right to use the bathroom that aligns with his gender identity. More than half the companies that signed the brief are tech companies, including Apple, Microsoft, eBay, IBM, Intel, Twitter and Yahoo.

"Across the country, corporate leaders are speaking out because they know attacking transgender youth isn't just shameful -- it also puts the families of their employees and customers at risk," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, in a statement.

Chipmaker Intel wrote a blog post in addition to signing the brief, saying, "Intel signed this amicus brief to stand with our LGBTQ colleagues, customers, communities, suppliers and partners, and we firmly believe that equality for LGBTQ individuals is a civil right."
And then there was this amicus curiae from the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund that was signed by 101 trans individuals including Ms. Jennifer Finney Boylan, Dr. Paisley Currah, Ms. Laverne Cox, Ms. Caitlyn Jenner, Dr. Jamison Green PhD, Mr. Diego Miguel Sanchez APR, Ms. Melissa Sklarz, and the Wachowski Lana and Lilly, and Dr. Jillian T. Weiss. These are just some of the names that I recognized on the amicus curiae.

Of course the negative amicus curiae briefs are also coming in, some of them are;
  • Brief amici curiae of Religious Colleges, Schools and Educators filed
  • Brief amici curiae of Christian Educators Association International, et al. filed.
  • Brief amici curiae of Pacific Legal Foundation, et al. filed. (They are the ones who sued California over same-sex marriage)
  • Brief amicus curiae of Safe Spaces for Women in support of neither party filed.
  • Brief amici curiae of National Organization for Marriage and Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence filed.
  • Brief amicus curiae of Women's Liberation Front filed
So the battle lines are drawn.

And if we win in court my prediction is you will see legislation introduced in Congress to strip us of our protections.

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