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Published On: Wed, Mar 1st, 2017

Liberty Counsel battles Fairfax County school board over transgender bathroom rules, open locker rooms

Tomorrow, Liberty Counsel argues before the Virginia Supreme Court in Lafferty v. Fairfax, the challenge to the Fairfax County School Board regarding its illegal policy in which the board added “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” to its policy and student handbook.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman, Mat Staver, will represent Jake Doe, a minor, John and Jane, the parents, and Andrea Lafferty. This is one of several cases around the country. Last week, President Trump revoked the illegal directive from the Obama administration that sought to impose on all public schools the LGBT agenda under Title IX. In addition, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled last week that the City of Fayetteville could not add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to its local ordinance when state law did not include those categories.

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Virginia follows the “Dillon Rule,” which requires local nondiscrimination laws to not be more stringent than the state law. State law does not include “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression.” The circuit court dismissed the lawsuit, stating any challenge must be filed within 30 days of a school board’s action. But the Dillion’s Rule is not subject to the 30-day provision. If it were limited, the school board could pass illegal policies that conflict with state law during the summer break when there are no students on campus to challenge the law. The illegal act would be grandfathered in which doesn’t make any sense.

“I look forward to arguing this case before the Virginia Supreme Court,” said Staver. “This should be a warning to other local Virginia school boards and government bodies to back away from following the path of Fairfax County. The Fairfax Country School Board’s lawless act of adding ‘gender identity, expression and sexual orientation’ to the local policy violates state law and harms children. This is a matter of statewide and national concern,” said Staver.

About Liberty Counsel

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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