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AGO Joins Brief to Protect Gender Privacy Rights

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined an amicus brief, led by the States of Indiana and Alabama, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Roe v. Critchfield. The case involves a challenge to Idaho’s S.B. 1100, which augmented privacy and safety standards in public schools.

Earlier this year, the Idaho State Legislature passed S.B. 1100. The law requires public schools to maintain separate bathrooms, locker rooms, and overnight accommodations for students based on biological sex. A district court upheld the law against a challenge by an Idaho student. In its order, the court borrowed a quote from late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who stated that “[p]hysical differences between men and women are enduring: The two sexes are not fungible; a community made up exclusively of one sex is different from a community composed of both.” The Ninth Circuit then temporarily stayed enforcement of the law pending arguments and a forthcoming decision by the court.

In their brief, the attorneys general argue that “the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX do not require gender-identity policies for bathrooms and lodgings” and that the “Plaintiffs’ Equal Protection and Title IX theories undermine state authority and create administrative challenges.”

The coalition states that the “plaintiffs argue that ‘sex’ should be redefined to include ‘gender identity.’ But neither the Equal Protection Clause nor Title IX demands separation based on gender identity rather than sex. It is rational and constitutional to use traditional definitions of ‘sex’ when assigning students to sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, and sleeping quarters to protect everyone’s privacy and safety.”

Joining Utah, Indiana, and Alabama were the States of Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Read the brief here.