Fight brewing over transgender person in Evergreen College locker room

Nov 2, 2012, 7:41 AM | Updated: 3:01 pm

A new legal fight is brewing over Evergreen State College’s decision to allow a transgender person to use the women’s locker room.

A group that takes on legal issues surrounding religion has sent a letter to the college in Olympia.

It complains about the 45-year-old student with male genitals, who dresses as a woman.

The letter claims there has been a problem for years of men using the women’s locker facilities, particularly the sauna.

Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney for some of the families who say the behavior is inappropriate, say the school needs to put a stop to the policy immediately.

“They’re saying that their non-discrimination policy, which prohibits gender identity and gender expression discrimination, doesn’t require them to leave the locker room and not come back,” Tedesco told the Dori Monson Show. “It’s just non-discrimination gone wild. It shows the problem with these expanding non-discrimination policies, which are very popular nowadays.”

In response to complaints, the college has put up screens to shield the adults from children who use Evergreen’s pool and locker room.

Installing curtains and requesting “that young girls change behind the curtains does not solve the problem,” wrote David Hacker, Senior Legal Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

Critics say the school, police, and prosecutors are ignoring indecency laws. The college says it’s following its non-discrimination policy.

Tedesco explained that a person is allowed to define whether they’re protected by his gender identity, gender expression discrimination prohibition simply by declaring what they are.

“As long as they make that declaration, they have to be able to use the women’s locker room at a college or anywhere in the state. I don’t think that’s the way these policies should work out, but that’s how Evergreen is saying they’re going to imply theirs.”

Tedesco said they’ve sent a letter to the school requesting they put a stop to the policy immediately, but they have not yet had a response from Evergreen.

Stephanie Klein, Editor, contributed to this report.

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Fight brewing over transgender person in Evergreen College locker room