What the Supreme Court said about transgender bathroom rights

By Sarah KliffBySarah KliffWASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from a transgender woman who sued to stop a public restroom bill that critics said would make transgender people uncomfortable and put a transgender man in danger.

A unanimous panel of the high court unanimously rejected the case by Kimberly A. Vinson, a transgender Texan.

Vinson, who said she has struggled with mental illness and anxiety, argued the state had failed to make reasonable accommodations for her needs in the women’s restroom at the University of Texas at Austin.

The law, which passed the state House last year, banned transgender people from using public restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.

Opponents said the law could force transgender women to use the men’s bathroom, and that it would deny transgender men access to the women`s restrooms in public places, including restaurants, hotels and government buildings.

Supporters of the law said it protects the privacy of women and men and that public restrooms are for everyone.

The state Supreme Court in December upheld the law, finding it did not violate a state law barring discrimination on the basis of sex in public accommodations.

A lower court had previously ruled against the law.

A federal appeals court earlier this month ruled against Vinson in a separate case challenging the law in Texas.

She said the ruling was “a big step in the right direction,” but that the court should not allow the case to proceed.