Week Seven: Lambda Legal

Gavin Grimm is a 17-year-old transgender high school senior in Gloucester County, Virginia. Grimm, born a female, told school staff he was transgender as a freshman and was originally allowed to use the boy’s bathroom until the school board adopted a policy that required students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex. Grimm was told he could use unisex bathrooms, but he did not want to be “separate but equal.” The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear Grimm’s case, but reversed course on Monday, stating they would not take the case. This decision follows the February 22nd letter from the Justice and Education Departments which reversed Obama administration guidance that said transgender students could use restrooms that match their gender identities due to protections of students from gender discrimination under Title IX. You can show support for Gavin, and other trans youth, by signing this petition.

This week, we donated to Lambda Legal, a national nonprofit organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through litigation, education, and public policy work. In 1973 Lambda Legal was founded as the nation’s first LGBT legal organization and became their own first client, as they had to fight for their survival against New York judges who thought their mission was “neither benevolent nor charitable.” Lambda Legal survived and thrived over the years, winning landmark cases such as the first HIV discrimination case, holding schools responsible for harassment and violence against LGBTQ students, striking down sodomy laws, and rejecting laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. In 2015 alone, Lambda Legal was 5-for-5 at the Supreme Court.

We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. Our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens deserve to be their full and truest selves, and to have equal rights as those who identify as heterosexual. Every person should feel free to express their true identity. Every child has a right to go to school, and to be protected from bullying and ridicule. Now, more than ever, it is vital for us to stand together to protect our human rights — especially the rights of our transgender citizens who are particularly threatened in light of recent actions.