4 Geo. J. Gender & L. 739 (2002-2003)
Access to Gender-Appropriate Bathrooms: A Frustrating Diversion on the Path to Transgender Equality

handle is hein.journals/grggenl4 and id is 747 raw text is: SPEECHES
ACCESS TO GENDER-APPROPRIATE BATHROOMS:
A FRUSTRATING DIVERSION ON THE PATH TO
TRANSGENDER EQUALITY*
LISA MOTET**
I first want to thank the Journal for continuing to focus attention on this very
important area of emerging law. The Journal has published two articles on
transgender equality and this symposium is another great event for increasing
public awareness of the unequal treatment and discrimination that transgender
individuals endure throughout the United States.
1 will be discussing two cases from Minnesota; both discuss bathroom access
for transgender employees and/or coworkers. The first is Goins v. West Group,'
the first published case in the United States interpreting an anti-discrimination
law that explicitly includes protections for transgender people. In Goins, a
transgender woman sought access to the women's bathroom at her place of
employment and brought suit under Minnesota's Human Rights Act. The second
case, Cruzan v. Minneapolis Public School System,2 also arose in Minnesota
when the coworker of a transgender individual objected to her transgender
colleague's use of the women's bathroom and brought suit against her employer,
the school district.
I will first explain the holdings of these cases and then discuss some
conclusions we can draw from them. Specifically, I will address what advocates
for transgender equality should learn from these cases as we move forward with
* This article is based on a presentation to the 5th Annual Georgetown Symposium on Gender &
Sexuality, Crossing Boundaries, Redefining Gender: A New Front on Equality (February 27, 2002).
** Legislative Lawyer for the Transgender Civil Rights Project at the National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force (NGLTF). Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., cum laude 2001; University of Washington,
B.A., cum laude. The author is in her position at NGLTF due to an Equal Justice Works Fellowship
(formerly the National Association for Public Interest Law). Her primary focus is working with state and
local activists to pass anti-discrimination laws and ordinances that prohibit discrimination based on
gender identity and expression. While in law school, she was a legal clerk at the ACLU Lesbian and Gay
Rights Project in New York and interned at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
in San Francisco. At Georgetown, she authored two sections of the Annual Review of Gender and
Sexuality Law (Single-Sex Education and Athletics) of the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law,
eventually serving as the Education Editor for the Annual Review of Gender and Sexuality Law. Prior to
law school, the author was involved in Washington's statewide initiative to ban employment
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
1. Goins v. West Group, 635 N.W.2d 717 (Minn. 2001).
2. Cruzan v. Minneapolis Pub. Sch. Sys., 165 F. Supp. 2d 964 (D. Minn. 2001). After the symposium,
Cruzan's appeal was rejected by the 8th Circuit, Cruzan v. Special Sch. Dist., No. 1, 294 F.3d 981 (8th Cir.
2002).

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