The Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled on June 23 that Coy Mathis -- a transgender 6-year-old who identifies as a female -- has the legal right to use the girls' bathroom at his elementary school in Fountain, Colorado. The ruling concluded that the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 created an unnecessary situation in which Mathis would be subject to harassment when it barred him from using the girls' bathroom, the Christian Post website reports today (June 25, 2013).
Steven Chavez -- the division director for the Colorado Civil Rights Division -- wrote in his decision, that prohibiting Coy and telling him "that she must disregard her identity while performing one of the most essential human functions constitutes severe and pervasive treatment, and creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive."
The decision marks the first ruling in the nation holding that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms that match the gender with which they identify, and the most comprehensive ruling ever supporting the rights of transgender people to access bathrooms without harassment or discrimination. The decision could serve as a precedent for all 50 states.
Mathis' parents, Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, filed a complaint with the state's civil rights division, after the school district told them their first grader would not be allowed to use female bathrooms. Now, transgender advocates are hailing the civil rights decision as a major step toward equal rights.