Transgender Bathrooms… The Debate Continues

In State of Texas v. United States, 7:16-cv-0054-0, D.E. 58 Aug. 21. 2016, (N.D.Tex. 2016), the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the United States from implementing  its interpretation of Title IX‘s implementing regulations regarding transgender students and facilities such as toilets and locker rooms. The District Court gave three (3) reasons for issuing the preliminary injunction:

  1. failure to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act;
  2. Title IX’s implementing regulation is unambiguous; and
  3. the Department of Education was not entitled to deference.

The Court agreed with the State of Texas (and other Plaintiffs) that “sex” as defined by Title IX and its implementing regulations is the definition of sex as it was when the legislation was drafted to mean biological sex. The Court was not persuaded by the United States’ argument that with the passage of time the definition of sex under Title IX when drafted is no longer relevant.

However, the Court did hold that States that authorize the definition of sex to include gender identity for the provision of toilets, locker rooms, and other intimate facilities will not be impacted by this decision.