A judge in Fairfax County Circuit Court Friday has dismissed the lawsuit against the Fairfax County Public Schools board, filed in December by right-wing anti-gay legal hate group the Liberty Counsel.
The Liberty Council claimed that the school board’s May decision to include sexual orientation and gender identity in its nondiscrimination policy violated a law known as Dillon’s Rule, which bars local governing bodies (including school boards) from going beyond state law in such policies. Virginia’s statewide antidiscrimination law does not enumerate protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The court rejected that argument siding with a March opinion from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, which stated that school districts had the right to amend nondiscrimination policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity under the broad authority granted by the state constitution, although they are not required to do so.
The plaintiffs in the now-dismissed suit included Andrea Lafferty, president of the rabidly antigay Traditional Values Coalition, and an anonymous student identified only as “Jack Doe” who alleged that he was “distressed” about the possibility of sharing gender-segregated spaces with fellow students who may be transgender.
In a press release that denounced the decision the Liberty Counsel vowed to appeal the dismissal, and portrayed LGBT protections as an inherent danger and violation of the privacy of straight students/
“Under today’s ruling, students in Fairfax County Public Schools are told, ‘We do not care if your fundamental right to education and right to privacy have been violated,'” Liberty Counsel litigation counsel Daniel Schmidt said in the release. “Minors in Fairfax County, Virginia, will now be subjected to invasions of their privacy, inside the very school district tasked with protecting them. Once again, the fundamental rights of minors were trampled by a lack of common sense and an appropriate understanding of biology.”