Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, on July 28, joined with the attorneys general of 12 other states, to issue a brief in support of Obama administration policies that protect transgender individuals, among them transgender students.
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Washington, DC attorney general also signed the amicus brief, which was filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas.
The brief was a response to legal challenges from two groups of states on the Obama administration's application of federal anti-discrimination guidelines to transgender people.
"While Plaintiffs' claimed harms are hypothetical, the discrimination suffered by
transgender individuals is all too real," said the brief. "Such discrimination harms transgender individuals at work, at school, and in public, causing tangible economic, emotional, and health consequences. To prevent such harms, many States protect transgender people from discrimination. The States that file this brief … do so because our shared experience demonstrates that protecting transgender individuals from discrimination benefits all members of the public. And contrary to Plaintiffs' claims, our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of our transgender friends, relatives, classmates, and colleagues creates no public safety threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden."
"Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is standing firm for the equal rights of transgender Illinoisans, especially students. In signing this bold brief in support of the Obama Administration's trans-inclusive policies, Attorney General Madigan's position is rooted in the best traditions of the Land of Lincoln," said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, in a statement.
"These leaders are showing the nation what it means to stand up for all students, ensuring that our transgender youth are affirmed and respected in one of the places they should feel most safetheir schools," said Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign legal director, in a statement. "No student should have to live in fear of being who they are, and we thank the tireless advocates working to guarantee a future full of opportunity for all young people."