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Published On: Sat, Dec 17th, 2016

Virginia: Liberty Counsel fights Obama bathroom mandate in schools

Today Liberty Counsel filed its reply brief to the Virginia Supreme Court in support of the challenge to the Fairfax County School Board regarding its illegal policy in which it added “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” to its policy and student handbook.
Liberty Counsel represents Jake Doe, a minor, John and Jane, the parents, and Andrea Lafferty. This is one of several cases around the country, including another case in Virginia that has been blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court and cases in North Carolina and Texas where federal courts blocked the Obama administration’s LGBT directive to public schools.

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Virginia follows the “Dillon’s 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. During the oral argument, the Virginia Supreme Court zeroed in on that issue and similarly appeared to agree that a Dillon’s Rule challenge cannot be limited to a 30-day window. 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. The Virginia Supreme Court decided to hear the case and settle the matter.

This is an issue of safety for students and following the state law,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “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. The fact that the Virginia Supreme Court is reviewing this appeal is a positive step toward forcing other local Virginia school boards and government bodies to avoid following the path of Fairfax County,” said Staver.
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