The Supreme Court announced it'll hear a major transgender rights case. This is big.

The Supreme Court did something pretty extraordinary on Oct. 28, 2016.

It announced that next year, the justices will hear a likely game-changing case for transgender rights in the United States.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.


Usually the justices are hesitant to hear cases on hot-button topics with large ramifications, as Reuters noted — especially now that the court is short its tie-breaking ninth justice.

But not this time.

In 2017, the court will decide whether senior Gavin Grimm will be able to use the bathroom that matches his gender identity at his high school in rural Virginia.

Grimm was assigned female at birth. But in 2014, when he was beginning high school as a freshman, he came out as transgender to his family. He began undergoing hormone treatments and changed his name.

Since Grimm is a guy, he naturally wanted to use the boys' restroom. It caused an uproar.

Grimm's principal allowed him to use the bathroom that matched his identity. The school district, however, wasn't thrilled. It mandated that students in Gloucester County use restrooms that correspond to the sex they were assigned at birth, NBS News reported.

As for trans students like Grimm? They would need to use single-occupant bathroom facilities.

"I continue to suffer daily because of the school board’s decision to make my bathroom use a matter of public debate," Grimm wrote in The Washington Post.

Grimm, arguing the new rule left him feeling isolated and stigmatized, sued. The Fourth U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Virginia agreed with him, too — the school district's mandate violated Title IX, a measure that prohibits discrimination by sex in any school receiving federal funding, the court argued.  

Photo by Lior Mizrahi /Getty Images.

It was a landmark decision, raising the bar for protections of transgender students.

The Supreme Court justices put the lower court's ruling on hold in August to decide whether to take up the case themselves — which leaves us where we are today.

The court's decision in 2017 could have a lasting impact on these discriminatory "bathroom bills" that have crept up across the country, most notably in North Carolina.

With approval from Gov. Pat McCrory, the Tar Heel State passed HB2 earlier this year — a measure that strips away many LGBTQ protections and forces all North Carolinians to use the bathroom that matches the sex they were assigned at birth in government buildings.

Gov. Pat McCrory. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

It's been called the most anti-LGBTQ state law in America; it's really not all that popular with Americans; and — aside from being morally reprehensible — it's terrible for business, too.

Just this week, the state lost out on a $250 million business development when a real estate firm decided to go elsewhere — and take its job openings, too — according to Business Insider. HB2 played a major role in the firm's decision.

Grimm's case is causing a wave of hope among transgender activists and allies who want to make sure all American students can feel safe at school — and not stigmatized — regardless of how they identify.

"Now that I am visible, I want to use my position to help the country see transgender people like me as real people just living our lives," wrote Grimm. "We are not perverse. We are not broken. We are not sick. We are not freaks."

"I hope the justices of the Supreme Court can see me and the rest of the transgender community for who we are — just people," Grimm wrote. "And rule accordingly."

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Philanthropy Daily

On September 14, Charles "Chuck" Feeney signed the paperwork to shut down Atlantic Philanthropies. The ceremony was attended via Zoom by the philanthropies' board which included former California Governor Jerry Brown, Bill Gates, and Nancy Pelosi.

While most would think the shuttering of a philanthropic endeavor would be a sad event, it was just how Feeney planned. It marked the competition of four-decade mission to give away almost every penny of his $8 billion fortune.

Feeney has saved $2 million to live on for the remainder of his life.

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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