Doe v. Clenchy
- In this 2014 breakthrough decision, Maine’s highest court ruled that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls’ restroom at her school violated her rights under Maine’s Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against transgender people.
- The decision on behalf of Orono, Maine student Nicole Maines, marked the first time a state court has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathrooms that match who they are.
GLAD represented a transgender teen girl whose Orono, Maine elementary and middle schools removed her from the girls’ restroom because of her transgender status and forced her to use a staff-only, non-communal restroom in isolation from her peers. Eventually, the parents were forced to withdraw their daughter and her twin brother from the Orono school system and move them to another part of the state where they could go to school quietly and safely.
The parents also filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission and ultimately decided to file a lawsuit on behalf of their daughter. GLAD represented Nicole along with Lewiston attorney Jodi L. Nofsinger of Berman & Simmons, P.A.
January 30, 2014 – Victory! Maine High Court rules that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls’ restroom at her school violated her rights under the state’s Human Rights Act. Read the decision.
June 12, 2013 – GLAD Attorney Jennifer Levi presented argument on our client’s behalf before the Maine Law Court (Maine’s highest court). A decision is not expected for several months. Read the press release.
May 3, 2013 – Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and other child welfare organizations filed an amicus brief in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of our client.
March 14, 2013 – GLAD filed an appeal brief in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of our client.
November 20, 2012 – The Maine trial court judge granted summary judgment for the school. GLAD announced we will immediately appeal the decision. Read more.
September 19, 2012 – GLAD Attorneys Ben Klein and Jennifer Levi were in trial court in Bangor, Maine, for a summary judgment hearing in the case.
On January 30, 2012 – GLAD filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Maine’s law prohibiting discrimination in schools on the basis of gender identity requires that a school provide a transgender girl with access to the girls’ restroom.
In May, 2011 – GLAD filed a complaint in Penobscot Superior Court outlining counts of discrimination in education and public accommodation, harassment, and infliction of emotional distress. The named defendants are the Superintendent of the Orono Schools Department, the Orono Schools Department, School Union 87, and Riverside Regional Schools Unit.