Adams is a biological female who identities as a male and wants to use the men's bathroom at school.
"Adams says that, biologically, she was denied access to the male bathroom and the public school said 'You need to either use the bathroom in accordance with your biological sex or you can use a single stall,'" said Katherine Johnson of Family Research Council on the "Washington Watch" radio program. "So, they were not even forcing Adams to go to the female bathroom. They gave her the option of going to a bathroom, to an individual stall."
With help from Lambda Legal, Adams filed a lawsuit in 2017 and won at the district court level. A three-judge panel at the 11th Circuit later ruled in Adams's favor, but the entire court heard arguments on Tuesday (February 22, 2022). Johnson sees a glimmer of hope in that.
"It's always hard to tell simply from the arguments, but I think what was most telling was the fact that the 11th Circuit withdrew the original opinion that was in favor of Adams and said, 'Wait a second, we're not satisfied with this opinion, we want to take another look at it,'" stated Johnson.
"I think that is what is most encouraging for us to see," she continued, "especially because three other circuits have ruled on this matter in favor of the transgender student. So, this really would be an excellent win for biological reality and give the Supreme Court the circuit split to take up and review the case."
Not surprisingly, Tara Borelli, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, sees it differently.
"As state legislatures increasingly target transgender youth for clear and harmful discriminatory treatment, we hope that the 11th Circuit will continue to stand as a bulwark against these attacks and protect this vulnerable population," Borelli said in a press release.
However, FRC's Johnson argues that science and facts are on the side of the school board.
"It has been actually dangerous to have people of opposite sex have access to the bathrooms – and there is very much the school's interest in separating people based on biological sex. There's nothing discriminatory about that," said Johnson. "It's simply biology, science, and facts."