Illinois Supreme Court Appeal Sought in Controversial Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Law

Attorneys from the Thomas More Society filed a Motion for Direct Appeal in the Illinois Supreme Court on February 21, 2018, seeking to have the state’s highest court take their appeal against taxpayer funding of abortion in the Land of Lincoln. In seeking a direct appeal, or alternatively, a supervisory order from the Illinois Supreme Court to expedite their appeal, the group of plaintiffs representing hundreds of thousands of Illinois taxpayers are calling out state officials and a lower court for actions that violate the Illinois Constitution. 

The taxpayer lawsuit, filed at the end of November in the Sangamon County Circuit Court, was brought by county and statewide pro-life organizations, the Springfield Catholic Diocese, and a group of Illinois legislators from across the state.

Among the points raised in the filing:

  • House Bill 40 (“HB 40”) reverses the prohibition on funding of elective abortions by Illinois’ Medicaid and employee health insurance programs and mandates coverage by Medicaid.
  • Under HB 40, approximately 30,000 of the state’s annual 40,000 abortions will become eligible for payment by Medicaid. This will cost Illinois taxpayers at least $10 million, and potentially upwards of $33 million.
  • Within the next two months, the State of Illinois intends to release funds to pay for elective abortions, despite the fact that the law can’t even be effective until at least June 1, 2018, per the Illinois Constitution and state statute.
  • The Constitution also requires the General Assembly to estimate revenues and make specific appropriations for all state spending, but there were never any funds estimated to be available nor any appropriation for the tens of millions of dollars in state abortion spending mandated by HB 40.
  • Because the federal government does not recognize elective abortion as a reimbursable medical procedure, none of the state’s new expense for elective abortions will be eligible for the standard 50% Medicaid match from the federal government. Illinois taxpayers will assume the entirety of the expense for HB 40’s new reimbursements.

The motion also raises the issue of extraordinary public interest regarding the ability of Illinois courts to enforce the state’s Constitution. The Circuit Court previously ruled that the courts had no ability to review or hear cases alleging appropriations to be illegal or lacking an estimate of available funds. The Appellate Court has refused to expedite the plaintiffs’ appeal, which means that millions of dollars in taxpayer funds may be illegally spent for elective abortions, before the appeal is even decided.

The defendants in the case are Felicia Norwood, Director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services; Michael Hoffman, Acting Director of the Department of Central Management Services; Michael Frerichs, Treasurer of the State of Illinois; and Susana Mendoza, Comptroller of the State of Illinois.

“The people of Illinois reject taxpayer funded abortion, and they shouldn’t be forced to pay for HB 40, especially before the law is even supposed to be effective,” stated Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Special Counsel. “This year’s budget is already $1.7 billion in the hole, and the General Assembly never identified any funds available to pay for HB 40. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will allow our motion, so that we can bring this illegal abortion spending to a swift end.”

Read the Motion for Direct Appeal Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 302(B) or, In the Alternative, for Supervisory Order, filed in Springfield Right to Life et al v. Felicia Norwood et al at the Illinois Supreme Court, February 21, 2018, by Thomas More Society attorneys here.

Abortion Clinic Owner Compares Taliban’s “Misogyny” to Life Advocates’ Beliefs in Federal Court

Merle Hoffman, the woman whom Forbes dubbed the “Millionaire Abortionist,” told a federal court in New York that “women know what abortion is” when she testified on February 15, 2018 against a group of pro-life Christian sidewalk counselors. The life advocates, ten of whom are members of Church @ The Rock in Brooklyn, have been slapped with a federal harassment lawsuit by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The charges have been brought against these peaceful witnesses for life for offering abortion-bound women information on life-affirming alternatives. The sidewalk counselors are represented by the Thomas More Society, whose legal defense of them is rooted in their constitutionally guaranteed rights. The trial in People v. Griepp et al, which started on February 12, 2018, resumed on February 21, 2018. US District Court - Eastern District of New York

Hoffman, 71, has performed abortions since 1971, two years before Roe v. Wade became law. She runs the for-profit Choices Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica, Queens, New York, where the sidewalk counselors who are on trial have been witnessing for life.

Lawyers questioned Hoffman about her public references to pro-life advocates as “bullies” and the “American Taliban,” which she attempted to justify by comparing Taliban “misogyny and fundamentalism” to the religious beliefs of the sidewalk counselors outside her clinic.

Hoffman quipped that “justice costs money” when attorneys implied that she was using the government to fight a case from which her clinic would benefit. Hoffman’s abortion facility is estimated to see about 50,000 women a year, and in 2016 generated a reported $10 million in revenues.

Attorneys shared an email from Hoffman to Assistant Attorney Generals Sandra Pullman and Nancy Trasande, as well as Choices colleague Mary Lou Greenberg, in which she said the protesters had been “particularly aggressive — they need to be bridled!”

“What I see outside,” Hoffman said, “I see that as a type of terrorism, yes, a type of terrorism toward the patients, definitely.”

Schneiderman claims that clients of Hoffman’s clinic have been harassed and groped by protesters, and Hoffman said she heard that they had been “out of control.”

News accounts of Hoffman’s testimony in People v. Griepp et al reported that the abortion facility owner appeared visibly irritated throughout much of her testimony, sighing loudly and tapping her fingernails on the witness stand.

Martin Cannon, Thomas More Society Special Counsel, is defending these peaceful sidewalk counselors against the vague and unfounded charges of harassment. While he asserts that the claims are baseless and solely intended to discourage any opposition to abortion, he is also aware of the far-reaching implications of the outcome of this trial.

“The rights we are guaranteed under the United States Constitution and First Amendment are on trial here,” Cannon stated. “Pro-life speech is protected speech, regardless of the New York Attorney General’s personal opinions about abortion.”

Schneiderman’s support of the abortion industry is well publicized. In April 2017, he openly opposed any defunding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, proclaiming, “I was proud to lead a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief against the Ohio state law that would defund Planned Parenthood.”

In an October 2017 press release, Schneiderman shared his personal saga of his long-time promotion of abortion: “When I was 17, I graduated from high school — but I didn’t go straight to college. Instead, I went to work at an abortion clinic in Washington, DC – the year before Roe v. Wade.” He then went on to equate the ability to obtain an abortion with being “truly equal” and “truly free.”

Read more about People v. Griepp et al, heard in the United States District Court Eastern District of New York, before Judge Carol Bagley Amon here.

Marilyn Nevarez: Mother Supports Fellow Pro-Life Sidewalk Counselors on Trial

Marilyn NevarezMarilyn Nevarez is a member of Church @ The Rock in Brooklyn, whose fellow life advocates were dragged into court in a federal harassment lawsuit by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. These pro-life sidewalk counselors, represented by the Thomas More Society,  have been offering life-affirming alternatives to women outside the Choices Women’s Medical Center abortion facility in Jamaica, New York.

 

 

Marilyn shares her story in this video:

“I remember one Saturday there was a couple who was going in and I said to the girl, ‘We can help you….’ They accepted the material we were handing out, and they went in anyway. Ten minutes later they came back out. The young man said to me, ‘You said you can help us.’ I said, ‘Yes we can.’ The good news about this is they ended up having their baby.”

Marilyn lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Jose. They have been members of Church @ The Rock for over seventeen years where Marilyn is part of an outreach ministry offering life-saving alternatives to abortion-bound mothers. An incredibly effective sidewalk counselor, she appeals for the lives of the unborn, and offers hope and help to those who will take it, who choose to save the lives of their babies.

“I knew there were girls out there who believed the babies were just tissue. 25 years ago, I saw my baby’s heartbeat and that changed my life. I went from radically being pro-choice to pro-life.”

“Millionaire Abortionist” to Testify at Trial Against Pro-Life Sidewalk Counselors

Merle Hoffman, the woman who Forbes dubbed the “Millionaire Abortionist,” is scheduled to testify on February 15, 2018 against a group of pro-life Christian sidewalk counselors who have been slapped with a federal harassment lawsuit by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The charges have been brought against the pro-life advocates for offering abortion-bound women information on life-affirming alternatives. The sidewalk counselors are represented by the Thomas More Society, whose legal defense of them is rooted in the constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression. 

Hoffman has been performing abortions since 1971, two years before Roe v. Wade became law. She runs the for-profit Choices Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica, Queens, New York, where ten members of Church @ The Rock in Brooklyn are on trial for witnessing for life. According to the news reports, Hoffman’s abortion facility is estimated to see about 50,000 women a year, and in 2016 generated a reported $10 million in revenues.

Martin Cannon, Thomas More Society Special Counsel, is defending the peaceful sidewalk counselors against false charges of harassment, threats, and violence. He noted that New York has filed baseless claims against law abiding citizens solely to discourage any opposition to abortion. The State has presented no documented or verified instances of the use of force, threat of force, physical obstruction, or of following and harassing, which Schneiderman claims justify this unjust prosecution.

“We expect to be vindicated,” stated Rev. Kenneth Griepp, a defendant in the lawsuit and the senior pastor at Church @ The Rock. “As a voice for the unborn, we are committed to raising awareness about the more than 3,500 children who are being murdered every day here in America. We do so as peaceful people of God. Because the Thomas More Society attorneys understand that, they are able to defend us and protect the rights we are guaranteed under the United States Constitution and First Amendment. That includes the freedom to speak out against what we believe to be the grave evil of abortion and to offer life-saving alternatives to women and their children.”

Background on the case is available here.

Why is Ron George on Trial for Saving Babies?

Teacher, Christian, Sidewalk Counselor on Trial

Ron George is one of ten members of Church @ The Rock in Brooklyn who were dragged into court in a federal harassment lawsuit by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. These pro-life sidewalk counselors have been offering life-affirming alternatives to women outside the Choices Women’s Medical Center abortion facility in Jamaica, New York.

Ron shares with us why he’s on the front lines to stop abortion:

“I’ve always recognized abortion as a wrongful act that took the life of an innocent child, but never knew just how severe of a problem abortion was within my Brooklyn community until I did the research. Right in my own backyard, the rates of children being aborted are greater
than the rates of children being born.

“One of the main areas that I focus on is to point out during my time on the sidewalk the problem of societal deception. I am there to appeal to those taking their children to the doors of death. The simple science that I teach to my middle school students expresses the fact that the product of sexual reproduction is a human being, even in the earliest stages of development. We have let truths like this slip away as society makes abortion about so many other issues that seem to trump the value of the smallest humans around us.

“Now a persecution has met us in the form of a civil lawsuit. Yet, God has provided an incredible legal team who shares a heart to reach the unborn and their parents in the form of the Thomas More Society.

Ron George stands tall spiritually, emotionally and even physically, when it comes to encouraging women to reconsider having an abortion.

“As we move through a lawsuit filed by those who don’t want these women to hear our appeal, we cannot say enough about the work that the Thomas More Society has done on our behalf in fighting for our First Amendment rights to continue to openly appeal to women and children in their darkest hour.”

Read about Ron George, one of the Church @ The Rock sidewalk counselors on trial, here.

Senior Counsel Matt Heffron Shares Pro-Life Podium with Nebraska Lt. Governor

Senior Counsel Matt Heffron

Senior Counsel Matt Heffron addressed a capacity crowd at the Knights of Columbus Pro-Life Brunch in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.

Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Matt Heffron was the featured speaker at the Knights of Columbus Pro-Life Brunch at St. John the Baptist Church in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. Nebraska’s Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley was a surprise attendee at the Sunday, January 28, 2018, annual event.

Heffron spoke about the Thomas More Society’s defense of undercover journalist David Daleiden. He shared highlights of the case, recounting what he called “wildly unfounded” charges by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a staunch abortion advocate whose campaign was funded by Planned Parenthood.

Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley

Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley encouraged pro-life brunch attendees to support legislative efforts to eliminate state funding for abortion providers.

In addition to defending Daleiden’s rights in exposing the abortion industry’s role in trafficking aborted baby parts, Heffron explained how Thomas More Society attorneys protect the rights of peaceful sidewalk counselors. These pro-life witnesses share life-saving alternatives with abortion-bound women outside clinics. Heffron recounted how in New York, the Thomas More Society is defending members of Brooklyn’s Church @ The Rock in a harassment lawsuit brought by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman, New York’s top law enforcement official, is an outspoken Planned Parenthood supporter who volunteered as a teenager at the same clinic at which these persecuted life advocates are witnessing.

Heffron’s theme, “Totalitarianism vs. the Pro-Life Movement,” explored indications of a growing totalitarian impulse among some left-leaning politicians. There has been a tendency to use the brute force of law enforcement to repress the increasing tide of pro-life activitism. Despite associations of the term “totalitarian” with oppressive regimes like North Korea, China, and Iraq, Heffron demonstrated how some abortion supporters in American government are now willing to use coercion and oppression, after 45 years of being unable to persuade the majority to embrace abortion.

Lieutenant Governor Foley was invited to speak to the capacity crowd. He encouraged those present to support Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts’ legislative effort to eliminate state funding for abortion providers.

Battle Won for Nuns Against Stone Park Strip Club

Thomas More Society Attorneys’ Legal Action Sees Club Allure Doors Shut for Good

Tom Brejcha, nuns, Stone Park

At the beginning of the battle, Tom Brejcha speaks at a press conference promising to close the strip club.

The Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo can finally rest…and worship, garden, eat, sleep, and pray…in peace, thanks to victorious legal actions on their behalf by Thomas More Society attorneys. After successfully getting the liquor license revoked for Stone Park’s Club Allure, the nuns and their pro bono lawyers have seen the doors to the notorious strip club closed forever. 

In December 2017, after several years of legal action that brought on a firestorm of community support for the nuns, Stone Park village officials yanked the liquor license for the bar and restaurant that drew complaints ranging from noise violations to prostitution.

The face-off between Club Allure and its neighboring convent began in March 2012. Over the next few years, lawyers filed multiple rounds of legal complaints and the nuns staged community protests, bringing the story of “sisters versus strip club” into national headlines.  

“Why a strip club would choose to set up shop in a residential area, much less next to a convent, completely eludes me,” commented Thomas More Society Special Counsel Joan Mannix. “We couldn’t be more delighted that this club is out of business. We’re pleased that the sisters and their neighbors can live without the profound negative effects created by having a strip club just feet away from their homes.”

Throughout the legal battle, Tom Brejcha, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society, was determined to deliver justice for the nuns, saying, “We will fight this case to the finish, and we aim to win it for the sisters and their neighbors, the nearby residents of both Stone Park and Melrose Park.”  

Read background on the Thomas More Society’s battle and subsequent victory on behalf of the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo here.

Federal Judge Concurs with Thomas More Society’s Defense of Pro-Life Free Speech

On January 29, 2018, a federal judge told the New York Attorney General that leafleting is a “form of really protected speech,” and that sidewalks are recognized as the “quintessential public forum.” The words from the bench underscored the arguments of Thomas More Society Special Counsel Martin Cannon. Cannon is defending a group of pro-life advocates who have been sued by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in a federal lawsuit that accuses them of threats and violence against abortion clinic patients.

Martin Cannon

Martin Cannon, Thomas More Society Special Counsel

A group of pro-life advocates with Church @ the Rock in Brooklyn has been targeted for ongoing sidewalk counseling, prayer, and protest activities outside of a Jamaica, New York, abortion clinic. Yesterday’s hearing was a request by the Thomas More Society for the court to dismiss the lawsuit against the church members involved. 

District Judge Carol Bagley Amon skeptically noted that handing out pamphlets is a form of protected speech and that sidewalks are the quintessential public forum. She questioned Assistant Attorney General Sandra Pullman on the definition of harassment. The state’s interpretation focused in part on the reaction of a person to another’s actions, something that, according to Cannon, did not line up with New York’s harassment law or common sense. “If harassment is defined by someone’s reaction, you can’t know you’ve committed the offense until after the fact,” Cannon said. Arguing that the New York City harassment law is dangerously vague, Cannon suggested Schneiderman’s lawsuit makes the point. “If harassment is whatever people in power say it is, we are protected only by sentiment, not by law.”

“We expect to be vindicated,” stated Rev. Kenneth Griepp, a defendant in the lawsuit and the senior pastor at Church @ the Rock. “As a voice for the unborn, we are committed to raising awareness about the over 3,500 children who are being murdered every day here in America. We do so as peaceful people of God. Because the Thomas More Society attorneys understand that, they are able to defend us and protect the rights we are guaranteed under the US Constitution and First Amendment, including the freedom to speak out against what we believe to be the grave error of abortion and to offer life-saving alternatives to women and their children.”  

The judge took issue with the prosecution’s reference to what they labelled as “annoying behavior.” Amon commented that if harassment charges could be brought for being annoying, “I could sue all of you here today.”

Cannon added, “The prosecution’s loose handling of a serious charge suggests the case is solely intended to discourage opposition to abortion. There are no instances of the force, threat of force, physical obstruction, following, or harassing that Schneiderman claims to have occurred.”

District Court New YorkSchneiderman’s lawsuit, filed in June 2017, seeks an end to what he says is “a weekly pattern of threatening, obstructive, and violent activity by a network of anti-abortion protestors.” He claimed to have received “complaints of the protesters’ extremely aggressive behavior.” He called the church members’ efforts to counsel women considering abortion and to advocate for the rights of the unborn “horrifying” and “illegal.”

Schneiderman’s support of the abortion industry is well publicized. In April 2017, he openly opposed any defunding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, proclaiming, “I was proud to lead a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief against the Ohio state law that would defund Planned Parenthood.”

“These pro-life advocates are life-affirming Christians who peacefully counsel women considering abortion. They conduct themselves reasonably and compassionately, offering alternatives and very real assistance to women and couples willing to listen,” stated Cannon. The Thomas More Society is representing 10 members of Church @ the Rock in Brooklyn, who are among the 13 defendants named in the suit. The congregation has been witnessing for life outside the abortion facility nearly every Saturday since 2012.

Read background on the Thomas More Society’s involvement with People of the State of New York v. Griepp et al here.

2018 Law of Life Summit Features Thomas More Society Attorneys and Clients

https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Joe-Scheidler-and-David-Daleiden.jpg

Thomas More Society clients across generations, Joe Scheidler and David Daleiden

Thomas More Society attorneys joined an all-star lineup of pro-life leaders and lawyers at the 2018 Law of Life Summit in Washington, DC, the day before the 45th Annual March for Life through the nation’s capital. 

Thomas More Society’s President and Chief Counsel Tom Brejcha, Executive Vice President and General Counsel Andy Bath, Special Counsel Peter Breen, and Senior Counsels Matt Heffron and Martin Cannon were among the featured speakers at the prestigious annual legal conference dedicated to defending the sanctity of human life in law, media, and culture.

Thomas More Society clients were also showcased on a panel of celebrated pro-life advocates, including David Daleiden, the undercover journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s role in baby body parts trafficking, Life Runners founder Dr. Patrick Castle, 40 Days for Life co-founder David Bereit, and Sidewalk Advocates for Life Executive Director Lauren Muzyka.

Lauren Muzyka and Martin Cannon

Thomas More Society client Lauren Muzyka and attorney Martin Cannon

Daleiden, who has been supported in court by the Thomas More Society for the past two years, was a surprise speaker for the crowd.

Breen, part of Daleiden’s legal team, led a question-and-answer session with the journalist who has been sued by the abortion lobby in multiple venues across the country. Breen emphasized that while David Daleiden has a higher profile than most, all pro-life advocates are at risk and should be vigilant. He encouraged the audience to be peaceful in pro-life activism, but to always file police reports “when you believe your rights have been violated.”

Daleiden shared how pro-life activists were tipped off to the fact that abortion facilities were dealing in the trafficking of aborted baby body parts. After Daleiden shared how he sees “the walls closing in on Planned Parenthood” because of federal government actions, he was asked if he feared for his life. Daleiden replied that “we should have no fear of bullies.” When asked by an audience member how they could pray for him, Daleiden asked them to pray that God would give him courage and clarity.

Muzyka sang the praises of the Thomas More Society team, calling them “holy attorneys” for their work defending pro-life sidewalk counselors. She explained that with a peaceful sidewalk counselor out front, abortion appointments go down as much as 70 percent, according to Planned Parenthood.  

Debbie and Tom Brejcha with Knights of Columbus National Director Tom Harger

Debbie and Tom Brejcha with Knights of Columbus National Director Tom Harger near the altar of the Redemptor Hominis Church at the Knights Saint John Paul II National Shrine

“Every sidewalk counselor owes much to Tom Brejcha,” added Cannon, alluding to Brejcha’s groundbreaking work in the three-decade legal battle, Now v. Scheidler. Brejcha founded the Thomas More Society in order to fight the landmark case pitting the abortion industry against the Pro-Life Action League’s Joe Scheidler, known as the “Godfather of the Pro-Life Movement.” 

David Bereit’s activism now leverages the power of the internet, but as co-founder of 40 Days for Life, he has spent time in the trenches. He recalled how Brejcha told the “abortion lawyers” to “bring it on,” leading Bereit to label the Thomas More Society attorneys “pro-life champions.”

Albin Rhomberg, a board member with Daleiden’s organization, Center for Medical Progress, noted that abortion is mass killing and that “mass killing is not tolerance.”

The Law of Life Summit, conceived and coordinated by attorney Royce Hood, brings together pro-life leaders, attorneys, and media, encouraging collaboration to end abortion. The 2018 Law of Life Summit program also included presentations from Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, and filmmaker Jason Jones, whose critically acclaimed movies include the award-winning 2006 pro-life story, “Bella.”

Find the complete roster of 2018 Law of Life Summit speakers here.

Judge Denies ACLU Bid to Violate Student Privacy at Palatine High School

Thomas Olp

Thomas Olp, Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society

The privacy rights of thousands of Illinois students were protected when, on January, 26, 2018, an Illinois judge denied the American Civil Liberties Union an order that would have allowed a biological male unrestricted access to the girls’ locker room at Palatine’s Township High School District 211 in the northwest Chicago suburbs. Attorneys from the Thomas More Society have been representing Students and Parents for Privacy, a group of more than 100 concerned parents and students from schools in District 211. Together, they have been fighting the ACLU’s attempt to twist the Illinois Human Rights Act to force schools to allow students unrestricted access to the locker rooms of the opposite sex as suits their preferred “gender identity.” 

“The entire concept is an unprecedented and unjustified invasion of the personal and bodily privacy of school students,” said Thomas Olp, Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society. “We are pleased with this latest development in Maday v. Township High School District 211.

The court denied the ACLU’s motion for preliminary injunction, basing its decision on a 2010 Illinois Human Rights Act amendment requiring that schools may not ‘deny access to their facilities,” explained Olp. “This standard for schools was held by the court to be actually less strict than the normal standard under the Human Rights Act requiring a public accommodation to provide ‘full and equal enjoyment of…facilities.Since the biologically male student who identifies as female was given access by the school to the girls’ locker room but was required to dress in a privacy stall in the locker room, this restriction did not constitute a ‘denial of access’ and was therefore lawful. We are pleased that the judge rejected the ACLU’s interpretation of the law, which would have required schools to provide unrestricted (‘full and equal’) access to opposite sex privacy facilities in schools. Still, our clients, who are students and parents of students in District 211 schools, oppose any access given to students of the opposite sex to sex-segregated facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms, irrespective of gender identity. The Human Rights Act (“HRA”) has a specific exemption (Section 5-103) protecting sex-segregated privacy facilities against claims of sex discrimination precisely to protect the personal privacy and dignity of students while dressing, undressing, and performing bodily functions. Since District 211’s restriction of the Plaintiff to a curtained changing area within the locker room was based on the Plaintiff’s sex (male), we believe the restriction was lawful under the HRA.

The school district, which serves Palatine, Illinois, gained national attention in 2016 when administrators granted another male student access to girls’ locker rooms after he identified himself as a transgender girl. The Thomas More Society filed a federal lawsuit, Students and Parents for Privacy v. United States Department of Education, on behalf of Students and Parents for Privacy. That suit raises similar privacy claims under federal laws.

The current lawsuit, Madya v. Township High School District 211, was filed in Cook County, Illinois, against the school by the biologically male student who claimed that his “denial of equal access” to the girls’ locker room was “stigmatizing” and a “deprivation of personal dignity.”

When it comes to private facilities like restrooms and locker rooms,” added Olp, “it is lawful and is simple common sense for secondary schools to separate males and females in privacy facilities, including locker rooms and bathrooms. The separation provides needed protection from one sex being exposed to another while robing and disrobing. In addition, with today’s focus on preventing sexual abuse and harassment, for a school to act otherwise is irresponsible. Young people should not be put at risk of becoming victims in the name of so-called gender tolerance.” 

Read the Order Denying Preliminary Injunction here.

Read the “Verified Emergency Petition of Students and Parents for Privacy for Leave to Intervene as of Right or Alternatively by Permission, and Memorandum of Law in Support Thereof,” filed in Maday v. Township High School District 211 by the Thomas More Society on behalf of Students and Parents for Privacy on January 11, 2018, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois County Department – Chancery Division here.

Read additional background on the federal Palatine school case here.