BALTIMORE, Md. — A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama has ruled that a Maryland high school must allow a female student who identifies as male to use the boys’ locker room.
“M.A.B.’s claims come down to a boy asking his school to treat him just like any other boy,” wrote District Court Judge George Russell, III. “This court finds that Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause provide M.A.B. grounds to do so.”
According to reports, the student, who goes by the name Max Brennan, was asked to use a separate gender-neutral locker room at St. Michaels Middle High School under Talbot County Public Schools’ facility use policy. Brennan has reportedly struggled with gender dysphoria since her childhood and received an official diagnosis in 2014.
While her school was willing to refer to her by her new name and preferred pronoun, it prohibited Brennan from changing for gym class with the boys. Officials also originally would not allow Brennan to use the boys’ restroom, but changed their mind following the Fourth Circuit’s decision surrounding the Virginia student who goes by the name Gavin Grimm.
As St. Michaels continued to require Brennan to change in a separate gender-neutral locker room, she decided to file suit. Her attorneys with the homosexual and transgender advocacy group Free State Justice state that the requirement has caused her to feel “humiliation,” “embarrassment” and “alienation.”
The complaint also states that Brennan would have to explain to substitute teachers why she was late for class, and at times, she would skip changing into her gym clothes altogether, for which she was penalized. It noted that the boys’ locker room has stalls, some of which have doors, while the room where Brennan was changing alone did not.
Brennan and her parents filed suit against the Talbot County School Board last July, claiming a violation of Title IX of the Education of Amendments of 1972 and an infringement of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
In his ruling on Monday, Russell sided with the student, opining that the school board’s policies subjected her to “sex stereotyping,” which he asserted was prohibited by Title IX.
“The policy classifies M.A.B. differently on the basis of [her] transgender status, and, as a result, subjects [her] to sex stereotyping,” he wrote. “The policy … treats M.A.B. differently from the rest of the high school’s students. While the rest of M.A.B.’s peers may use the locker room that aligns with their gender identity, M.A.B. may not.”
Russell also disagreed with the school board, which argued that Brennan’s presence in the boys’ locker room will make male students feel uncomfortable. He contrarily asserted that not being allowed to change with the boys would negatively affect Brennan’s mental health.
“First, unlike a boy who decides to change clothes in a single-use restroom or stall for greater privacy, barring M.A.B. from changing in the boys’ locker room harms [her] health and well-being. M.A.B. has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, whose treatment requires ‘social transitioning,'” Russell stated. “Barring M.A.B. from accessing the boys’ locker room interferes with [her] social transitioning.”
He said that the disallowance also goes against Brennan’s doctor’s advice, and therefore, male students who are uncomfortable with her presence in the locker room should simply utilize a stall that closes.
“Defendants’ argument overlooks the very existence of the policy. It requires M.A.B. to change [her] clothes in the designated restrooms, against [her] doctor’s medical advice, and M.A.B. risks discipline if [she] does not comply. Conversely, boys who have privacy concerns have the option of changing clothes in a single-use restroom or stall if they want greater privacy,” Russell contended.
He therefore granted Brennan’s request for an injunction against the district policy, citing that she will suffer “irreparable harm” if it continues to be enforced.
Talbot County Public Schools has yet to comment on the matter.
As previously reported, Scripture states that those who turn God’s creation “upside down” are like the clay telling the potter that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Romans 9:20 says, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, ‘Why hast thou made me thus?’”
Isaiah 29:16 also declares, “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay, for shall the work say of Him that made it, ‘He made me not?’ Or shall the thing framed say of Him that framed it, ‘He had no understanding?’”