Alliance Defending Freedom Backs Idaho AG on Children's Privacy

Alliance Defending Freedom Backs Idaho AG on Children’s Privacy

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Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a legal brief together with Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, appealing a federal injunction against a new state law regulating access to sex-specific facilities like locker rooms and bathrooms in public schools.

The law, passed in March 2022, requires that intimate facilities such as showers, locker rooms, and overnight accommodations be designated for use based on biological sex. 

In July, a lawsuit, Roe v. Critchfield, was filed by activists seeking to overturn the law. A federal judge initially upheld the law, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction halting its enforcement while the case proceeds.

What is Alliance Defending Freedom?

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, marriage and family, and the sanctity of life. 

Over the past decade, Alliance Defending Freedom has established itself as a powerhouse legal organization, winning landmark victories for religious freedom, including 15 major wins at the U.S. Supreme Court since 2011. 

Alliance Defending Freedom Church Alliance and Alliance Defending Freedom Ministry Alliance provide affordable legal support so that churches and religious organizations can operate without fear of legal harassment, arming ministries with defense against lawsuits, subpoenas, and complaints that could obstruct them from functioning according to their faith. 

In the legal filing Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys argue the law reflects “common sense and biological reality” by preserving student “privacy, dignity and safety.” They contend it has an interest in providing separate intimate spaces based on sex.

ADF attorneys say enforcing separation of intimate facilities based on biological differences between males and females has been a widely accepted practice “since time immemorial.” Allowing access regardless of sex, they contended, threatens students’ reasonable expectations of privacy.

The filing contends there is no definitive constitutional right or federal law requiring schools to allow transgender students access to bathrooms and overnight accommodations aligned with their gender identity rather than biological sex. It argues Idaho has a legitimate interest in maintaining separate facilities based on the biological differences between males and females.

Further, ADF attorneys stated that the testimony of experts relied upon by activists seeking to overturn the law is scientifically flawed. Specifically, Idaho argues testimony claiming “gender identity” determines sex and overrides biological categories contradicts established science and case law.

Additionally, the filing states the law provides adequate accommodation to transgender students through the availability of single-user facilities. It contends that restricting biology-based access causes no irreparable harm while overturning safeguards for student privacy and safety and that both female and male students deserve “a private space” when using showers and restrooms. Overnight school trips were also cited as needing sex-specific sleeping areas.

ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch says girls and boys each deserve a private space to shower, undress, use the restroom, and sleep, and Idaho’s law respects all students’ need for privacy, safety, and dignity. 

“Girls and boys are different, and our laws should recognize this truth rooted in biology. We urge the 9th Circuit to reverse its injunction and allow Idaho to continue protecting all the State’s students,” Bursch said. 

A three-judge 9th Circuit panel will now decide whether to continue blocking enforcement of the law while it considers the broader case.

Learn more about Alliance Defending Freedom here: https://glaad.org/gap/alliance-defending-freedom-adf/

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