In a bold strike against discriminatory legislation, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has teamed up with a coalition of 20 other top state legal eagles to support transgender students in Idaho waging a legal battle over their right to equality. The alliance, united in their legal acumen, filed an amicus brief backing the brave stand of a young seventh-grade transgender girl—and the Boise High School Sexuality and Gender Alliance—against an Idaho statute that inhibits students from using school facilities that match their gender identity, as reported by the Illinois Attorney General's website.
Taking a clear stand, Raoul lambasted the law, stating, “Discriminatory laws that target transgender students and minors further stigmatize a community already facing high levels of harassment and bigotry.” He vowed, as per the announcement, “I will continue to oppose laws that attack transgender youth and will work to protect the rights of all LGBTQ+ youth.” The coalition posited that the exclusion of transgender girls and boys from common restroom facilities that align with their genders violates none other than federal civil rights laws.
But the pursuit of justice isn't solely philosophical—it's grounded in harrowing statistics. Citing a 2015 U.S. survey, the coalition points out the staggering reality that 77% of transgender youth endure harassment or worse. With more than half subjected to verbal harassment and almost a quarter to physical attacks, the evidence of such abhorrence is clear and undeniable. Furthermore, around 13%, or one in eight, have been forced to survive sexual assault. A 2016 study underscored the devastating impact of this exclusion, revealing that transgender individuals denied bathroom access were about 40% more likely to try ending their own lives than their peers who did not face such barriers.
Over 1.6 million Americans identify as transgender, including an estimated 300,000 energetic young people aged between 13 and 17. The brief emphasizes that at least 22 states, along with Washington, D.C., and over 370 municipalities throughout the country, have taken steps to prevent gender-identity discrimination in areas such as education and housing, which strengthens the position of Raoul and his coalition. They are working alongside attorneys general from various states, including California, Maryland, New York, and Washington, in this crucial legal intervention.