This Week in Nondiscrimination: New Protections in Kentucky, a Win for a Trans Student, and Another Blow to the Proposed Military Ban

By Shane Stahl • August 10, 2018 • 4:03 pm

This week, most significantly, a federal judge in the District of Columbia denied the Trump administration’s motion to dismiss in the case of Doe v. Trump, challenging the proposed military ban on transgender service. An openly gay, Native American former MMA fighter won her Congressional primary in the 3rd District of Kansas, setting her up for a potential victory this November. Additionally, a judge in Indiana issued a preliminary injunction in the case of a transgender student, who will be allowed to use the bathrooms that correspond to his gender identity while his case is pending trial.

INDIANA

A federal judge in Indiana has issued a preliminary injunction in the case of J.A.W. v. Evansville, which will allow a transgender male student to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to his gender identity as his case is pending trial in state district court.

Indiana is covered by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which recently ruled in Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District that Title IX’s sex discrimination protections prohibit discrimination based on a student’s gender identity.

The defendants had filed a motion to dismiss on March 20th of this year, which was denied by Judge Lawrence on June 5th. The plaintiff’s request for preliminary injunction was filed in April. This is only the latest ruling in favor of transgender students, following similar victories in Oregon, Virginia, and Pennsylvania earlier this year.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

On Monday, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia quashed yet another attempt by the Trump administration to implement its proposed ban on transgender military service, the latest decision in a series of rulings that have been decided in favor of transgender soldiers.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied the administration’s requests to both dismiss the case and dissolve the stay currently preventing the ban from going into effect. This marks the eighth ruling to uphold the dignity of transgender soldiers across the nation, in a series of cases filed from coast to coast by various advocacy groups. This particular case, Doe v. Trump, was filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).

We congratulate our friends and partners at NCLR and GLAD on their latest victory. Freedom for All Americans continues to work with these groups and numerous others in the effort to #ProtectTransTroops.

KENTUCKY

On Thursday, the city of Maysville, KY passed a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance, becoming the 10th city in the Bluegrass state to offer protections in housing, employment, and public accommodations for LGBTQ people. The Maysville City Council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance.

Both the city’s Human Rights Commission and The Fairness Campaign, the state’s leading LGBTQ advocacy group, worked together to craft the ordinance and persuade lawmakers to support it. Additionally, Maysville Mayor David Cartmell was a key supporter, offering in a statement from the city:

“We are pleased that Maysville has joined with other progressive cities around the Commonwealth by adopting a Fairness Ordinance. I wish to commend the Human Rights Commission for the dedication and diligence in crafting this legislation.”

The Fairness Campaign is also working to pass a statewide nondiscrimination law, which would update the state’s existing Civil Rights Act to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Statewide Fairness Law has been introduced every year for nearly two decades, receiving only two hearings in that time, and never advancing out of committee. However, a record number of cosponsors signed on to the legislation in 2018, and there are plans to reintroduce the measure in the next legislative session.


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