WoLF files amicus brief in Florida school case

Today WoLF filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in the case of Drew Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, Florida, Docket No. No. 18-13592.

The case arose when students complained that plaintiff Drew Adams, a female student, was using the boys’ bathrooms at the Allen D. Nease High School outside of Jacksonville, Florida. Like many girls, Drew appeared “increasingly anxious, depressed, and withdrawn” around the time of puberty, but began self-identifying as transgender after being “mesmerized” by an interview with a trans-identified female on the Ellen Degeneres Show. Drew’s mother readily embraced transgender ideology, soon procuring cross-sex hormones that threaten Drew’s long-term health, along with a double mastectomy to remove Drew’s healthy breast tissue–a procedure some doctors are promoting and performing for girls as young as thirteen.

As in similar cases, Drew’s lawyers rely heavily on flimsy pseudo-scientific theories in which so-called “neurological sex and related gender identity” are claimed to be the “most important and determinative factors” in establishing an individual’s sex for purposes of applying civil rights protections. Nonetheless, the court ruled in favor of Drew and against the school’s policy of maintaining sex-segregated spaces, and the school has appealed.

WoLF’s arguments in its brief are straightforward and powerful: If “gender identity” is used to mean sex for purposes of interpreting the Constitutional right to privacy and Title IX, women and girls will lose their privacy and be put at even greater risk of sexual violence; we will lose preferences under other remedial statutes aimed at combating historic and ongoing sexist discrimination against women and girls; and we will lose access to accurate vital statistics that we rely on to measure progress toward ending sex discrimination. WoLF argues that the lower court ruling must be reversed because it essentially erases women and girls as a coherent class under Title IX, and improperly attempts to re-write the law based on the subjective feelings of trans-identified individuals and their propensity to threaten or engage in self-harm.

While this case focuses on school bathrooms, the implications are much broader. It poses a grave threat to women’s and girls’ access to scholarships, athletic opportunities, and female-only spaces in every federally-funded school or college across the U.S.

WoLF will continue to insist that courts adhere to the unambiguous intent of Congress to protect women and girls from discrimination based on sex.

In sisterhood,

WoLF Board

P.S.: While we’ve been fortunate to file this brief without incurring lawyers’ fees, the printing and delivery fees for a federal appellate court brief are substantial. WoLF greatly appreciates all the donations we have received in support of this and our other work on behalf of women and girls. If you should want to help us continue this sort of work, please consider donating here.