Maine Supreme Court locks in transgender student bathroom rights
posted at 3:31 pm on February 2, 2014 by Jazz Shaw
I’ve been to Maine quite a few times, dating back to my childhood. A couple of years ago I saw a moose there. Once, when I went there with my dad as a kid, we were pretty sure we saw a gray wolf. But I never saw anything like this.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday guaranteed the right of a transgender child to use the school bathroom designated for the gender with which he or she identifies.
It is the first time any court in the nation has ruled it is unlawful to force a transgender child to use the school bathroom designated for the sex he or she was born with rather than the one with which the child identifies, according to the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders of Boston, which represented the girl and her family.
“This sends a message to my children that you can believe in the system,” Wayne Maines, the father of Nicole Maines, the girl at the center of the case, said Thursday afternoon in a conference call.
An emotional Wayne Maines said that he was proud of his wife, Kelly Maines, Nicole Maines and her identical twin brother, Jonas Maines. The children now are 16. Wayne Maines live in Orono. Kelly Maines and the children live in southern Maine, where Nicole and Jonas attend private school.
At the Corner, Wesley Smith thinks this may cause more problems than it solves.
The focus on bathrooms is misplaced. In CA, a girl with a penis will have to be allowed to use the girl’s locker rooms and allowed on female sports teams, and vice versa.
It used to be that to have a sex change officially recognized, you had to undergo counseling and obtain a court-ordered change of birth certificate. That at least brought some structure to this very sensitive issue.
GLAAD advocates assert this will reduce bullying. Alas, I think the opposite is true.
Not to detract from what Wesley is saying, but isn’t childhood hard enough (and confusing enough) as it is? Yes, bullying is also a problem in schools (among both genders) and Smith has a point in saying that this can simply exacerbate matters. But all of these arguments seem to skip straight past what should, I think, be one of the larger questions. We’re talking about children here. They’re going through their formative years and facing a lot of changing, confusing things in their world where they should be not only supported, but guided and directed by their parents to the best of their abilities. (By their teachers too, assuming you can find teachers still interested in doing it.) The student in question is 16 now, but the case began in elementary school.
What person knows where the heck they are going in elementary school, say nothing of making “gender judgements” in fourth grade? This is also not an age appropriate conversation to be forced into having with the rest of the students at that age. And – again – what third grader has already concluded that they were born with the “wrong naughty bits” and need to work on gender reassignment absent picking that up from their parents? This just looks like a bad move. They’re kids! Let them just be kids!