BANGOR – On Wednesday, the Maine Supreme Court heard arguments for a case involving a student’s access to restrooms of the opposite sex.
The case centers around Wyatt Maines, a 15-year-old identical twin boy who identifies himself as a girl. According to an interview with his parents conducted by the Bangor Daily News, Wyatt has exhibited feminine behavior since he was a preschooler, and when he was in third grade, would openly state, “I’m a boy-girl.” By the time he reached fifth grade, Wyatt legally changed his name to “Nicole,” let his hair grow long, and began regularly wearing girl clothes.
During that same time period, Wyatt also started using the girls’ restrooms at his elementary school, which disturbed some of the other students. In late 2007, a student’s grandfather voiced his concern to school officials, and the superintendent asked Wyatt to instead use a unisex staff bathroom, instead of the main girls’ restroom.
However, Wyatt’s parents—Wayne and Kelly Maines—were unhappy with the superintendent’s request. So, in early 2008, they hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the elementary school, claiming the bathroom policy unfairly discriminated against their child. And now, several years later, the case has made it all the way to Maine’s highest court.
Benett Klein, an attorney with the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders organization, is representing the Maines family in the case. In his court brief, he claimed the elementary school bathroom incident was “certainly direct segregation.”
Another brief filed in support of the Maines suggested that “identify and perception” are more important than “biology” in deciding whether someone is a man or a woman.
“In the context of bathrooms, the meaning of the term ‘sex’ should be no different,” the brief further states. “Women and men of the same gender share a common identity. The reasons for separating bathrooms evaporate in light of that commonality.”
Melissa Hewey, the attorney defending the school district in this case, disagrees. She argued that the state of Maine’s human rights laws do not directly apply to this situation.
“A school’s segregation of bathrooms on the basis of sex rather than gender identity does not constitute illegal discrimination under the Maine Human Rights Act,” she wrote in her brief.
After the case hearings on Wednesday, Wyatt—who is planning to soon undergo physical sex-change surgery—said he hopes other students won’t have to endure what he went through.
“I hope [the court] understood how important it is for students to be able to go to school and get an education and have fun and make friends,” he commented, “and not have to worry about being bullied by students or the administration, and to be accepted for who they are.”
If Maine’s Supreme Court rules in favor of Wyatt, homosexual activists say it would be a major victory for the public acceptance of transgender lifestyles. However, Bible-believing Christians maintain that the line between both sexes should always remain clear-cut and unmixable. An article from Focus on the Family illustrates this distinction.
“Contrary to the pagan view, the human body is not a container into which God simply pours a spirit,” it reads. “Rather, body and spirit are meant to be holistically united from the moment of conception. Thus, humans are called to embrace their embodied gender and not seek “sexual reassignment” when they struggle with feelings of gender confusion.”