Appeals Court Ruling on Transgender Rights: What It Means

In a case involving a former inmate who accused a Virginia prison of discrimination, a federal appeals court has held that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers individuals with “gender dysphoria.”

The ruling expanded the legal consensus on the discrimination protections available to some transgender people. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit held in a majority opinion that the ADA protects transgender people with gender dysphoria from discrimination on the basis of disability.

Not all transgender people experience dysphoria, but the decision is a significant milestone in case law as discrimination protections and medical rights for transgender people are being challenged across the country.

“This is a huge win. There is no principled reason to exclude transgender people from our federal civil rights laws,” Jennifer Levi, the Transgender Rights Project Director at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), said in a press release Tuesday.

Read more about the GLAD amicus brief in the case, discussion of whether or not gender dysphoria is covered under the ADA, and the “troubled history” of the ADA @ The Crime Report