Saturday, October 31, 2020

Parents' Challenge To School's LGBT Non-Discrimination Rules Dismissed For Lack of Standing

 In Reynolds v. Talberg, (WD MI, Oct 30, 2020), a Michigan federal district court dismissed, primarily for lack of standing, parents' challenge to a school district's policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The court said in part:

Citing their Christian faith, Plaintiffs contend the Challenged Policies force their children to disregard their sincerely held religious beliefs and to “affirm[] . . . alternative sexual lifestyles” or else face punishment.... The crux of Plaintiffs’ claim is that the Challenged Policies “promote and force the approval of alternate sexual lifestyles and behavior” in a “manner that infringes upon Plaintiffs’ personal identity, autonomy, and their sincerely held religious beliefs and convictions and constitutional right to oppose such policies and freely speak out on such issues in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” ... Though Plaintiffs claim that the Challenged Policies permit Williamston public schools to punish students who refuse to “affirm[] . . . alternative sexual lifestyles”..., and would permit students to use bathroom and shower facilities in accordance with their gender identity..., the complaint does not allege that any student represented by Plaintiffs has been disciplined or otherwise restrained under the Challenged Policies, nor do they allege that any transgender student has used facilities in accordance with their gender identity.

The court also rejected a vagueness challenge to the regulations.