The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to block a lower court ruling requiring a Virginia school disctrict to base bathroom use upon gender identity highlights the "brazen lawlessness" of a North Carolina school district that seeks to do the same, says a Christian activist.
In a 5-3 decision, the highest court in the nation granted a stay on behalf of Gloucester County Public Schools of Virginia on Wednesday after a three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court decision on behalf of the school district.
The Reverend Mark Creech of the North Carolina based Christian Action League released a statement about the Supreme Court's decision focusing on how the decision may influence the Charlotte Mecklenberg School District.
Charlotte Mecklenburg decided earlier this year to allow for students to use the restrooms of their chosen gender identity, contradicting the North Carolina's controversial HB 2 law.
"Now that the High Court has blocked the 4th Circuit's decision, will CMS officials, at least for now, abandon their plans to execute their egregious, misguided, and immoral policy?" stated Creech on Wednesday.
"It's outrageous that they are currently ignoring state law, but to impose their plan at this point would be nothing less than brazen lawlessness."
Creech also stated that any parent "with children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg-Schools should also step up to the plate and demand that their local school officials obey the law."
Other conservatives celebrated the Supreme Court's decision to stay the ruling. Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, said in a statement that he and his organization supported the Supreme Court's action.
"We are grateful that the Supreme Court put a hold on a disturbing ruling that treads on parental rights and the responsibility of local school districts to provide a safe learning environment for children," stated Sprigg.
"Parents should continue to speak up about their privacy and safety concerns. If the Obama edict is allowed to stand, there's no limit to what President Obama's administration, or future presidents, will be emboldened to do."
The Family Foundation of Virginia also celebrated the news, with the group's leader Victoria Cobb arguing that the high court "got it right" when they "hit the pause button" on the Fourth Circuit panel's ruling.
"That means that for now, students in Gloucester won't be able to use the bathrooms reserved for members of the opposite sex," wrote Cobb.
"It also means that boys and girls in public schools may continue to have their safety, privacy and dignity respected when they enter the bathroom, locker room or shower."
Transgender high school student Gavin Grimm sued Gloucester County Public Schools for not allowing the teenager to use the bathroom of her chosen gender identity.
Born female, Grimm self-identifies as a male and has argued that it is better for her to use the men's restroom.
As an initial compromise, the school built three single use gender neutral restrooms at its campus to accommodate Grimm. Any student can use these restrooms.
In 2015, with the legal aid of the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia, Grimm filed suit against Gloucester County demanding to use the men's restroom.
Last September, U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. Doumar ruled against Grimm. However, in April a three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit ruled 2-1 against the Doumar decision.
The majority opinion read that regarding the lower court decision they "reverse in part, vacate in part, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."
The panel's majority also concluded that Title IX should be applied to the case, siding with the U.S. Justice Department's position on the Grimm lawsuit.
"At the heart of this appeal is whether Title IX requires schools to provide transgender students access to restrooms congruent with their gender identity," read the Circuit Court opinion.
"We conclude that the Department's interpretation of its own regulation . . . as it relates to restroom access by transgender individuals, is . . . to be accorded controlling weight in this case."
On Wednesday the Supreme Court agreed to put a stay on the panel's decision, pending further decision on the part of the high court.
"Should the petition for a writ of certiorari be denied, this stay shall terminate automatically. In the event the petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, the stay shall terminate upon the issuance of the judgment of this Court," read the decision.
Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito agreed with the decision, Justice Stephen Breyer concurred, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.