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Education secretary calls for repeal of anti-transgender laws

In a court filing in that case, the U.S. Education Department and the Justice Department argued that preventing students from using restrooms that correspond with their gender identity violates Title IX of federal law.

“Treating a student differently from other students because his birth-assigned sex diverges from his gender identity constitutes differential treatment on the basis of sex under Title IX,” the departments said in a friend-of-the-court brief.

The Mississippi law allows religious groups and some private businesses to deny services to same-sex couples and transgender people. It takes effect July 1. Any employer or school could refuse to allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.

Bathrooms have been a focal point as schools around the country grapple with how to balance the rights of transgender students with privacy issues.

Students at Santee Education Complex worked to establish the first multi-stall, gender-neutral restroom at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest. Adults protested the move.

In Ocala, Florida, the Marion County School Board voted to limit restrooms to students based on their birth sex.

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Associated Press writer Emery P. Dalesio contributed from Raleigh, North Carolina. Carole Feldman contributed from Boston.

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