The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing a Missouri school district for refusing to allow a transgender-identifying biological male to use the girl’s bathroom.
The lawsuit seems to contradict a previous statement by the ACLU that Missouri’s Human Rights law defines sex as biological sex at birth, not gender identity or sexual orientation.
The ACLU filed suit against the Platte County School District near Kansas City for refusing to allow a 16-year-old transgender student access to the girl’s bathroom, according to local Kansas City Public Radio (KCUR).
The lawsuit admits that gender neutral bathrooms are available in the district’s schools, reports KCUR, but claims the district violated Missouri’s Human Rights Act with its bathroom policy.
“The Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, and places of public accommodations based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age (in employment only), and familial status (in housing only),” explains the state’s Department of Labor website.
In a statement about the suit, the Missouri ACLU cites the Act: “The lawsuit is brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Missouri Constitution and urges the court to find that the Platte County School District’s practices and policies are unconstitutional and award damages and fees.”
But in another area on its website, the Missouri chapter of the ACLU seems to acknowledge gender identity is not covered by Human Rights Act, admitting that for 20 years in a row, it has supported an amendment to redefine “sex” under the act to include gender identity and sexual orientation.
The proposed legislation is known as the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA).
“MONA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Act, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for other protected categories, including race, sex, and national origin,” said the ACLU. “The ACLU of Missouri fully supports MONA.”
Specifically, the MONA legislation keeps the word “sex” in place and adds the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Even one of the leading lobbyist organizations for LGBTQ issues in the U.S., the Williams Institute at UCLA, admits that Missouri law does not stop school districts from preventing trans students from using bathrooms that don’t align with their biological sex at birth.
That could explain why the lawsuit also claims that the plaintiff in the Platte County case suffers from a disability, namely “gender dysphoria,” according to KCUR.
As a “gender dysphoric,” the plaintiff will qualify as a protected class under various civil rights laws, but it’s unclear whether that would allow such a person to use any gender-specific bathroom on the basis of disability.
The lawsuit comes a week after the ACLU of filed a separate lawsuit against the state’s recently-passed law restricting gender-altering procedures on minors.