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You are here News Domestic (USA) He, She, They: The Pronoun Debate Will Likely Land at the Supreme Court

He, She, They: The Pronoun Debate Will Likely Land at the Supreme Court

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Pronojn debate will go to SCOTUSOnce again, a pitched battle in America’s culture wars is making its steady way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In this round, the emerging question is whether public school children have a right to choose names and pronouns affirming their gender identity, or whether parents’ right to manage the upbringing of their children overrides it.

Three separate federal appeals courts have already confronted the issue, which has left school administrators across the country having to pick between the wishes and needs of students on one hand, and the demands of parents that they be alerted to their children’s gender and pronoun preferences at school on the other.

The legal issues in these cases are not easy ones, pitting children’s rights against their parents’ rights. Upset parents contend that by using a child’s preferred pronouns without their knowledge, government actors are illegally providing medical care without the parental consent that state law mandates.

Weighing against the parents are their kids’ requests as well as state laws requiring that schools provide non-discriminatory environments in which students can safely express their gender identities. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 22 states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting students from harassment based on gender identity.


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