A federal lawsuit filed Monday by a New Jersey school nurse who sued her former school for discriminating against her over her sexual orientation is the latest in a string of victories for transgender Americans who say their rights were violated in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York seeks to reverse a school district’s decision to bar a transgender nurse from teaching, citing her refusal to follow a policy prohibiting students from wearing pants and skirts in class, the lawsuit said.
“The plaintiffs have a compelling claim that the school district discriminated against them on the basis of sexual orientation,” attorney William S. Miller, who represents the plaintiff, said in a statement.
“This lawsuit is a victory for the transgender community in New Jersey and all who have suffered at the hands of discriminatory policies that seek to exclude them from the workforce.”
Miller said the suit also seeks unspecified damages and an injunction that would allow the nurse to continue teaching.
The U.K. Education Secretary, Michael Gove, who is also a doctor, called the lawsuit “outrageous” in a recent tweet.
“This is outrageous and outrageous that a school in the UK would exclude a transgender woman from teaching,” Gove said.
“The school must immediately provide the plaintiff with the support she needs to be vindicated.”
The lawsuit comes just days after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, called transgender people “perverts” and called on his state to ban the practice.
He was responding to a proposal from a transgender group that asked New Jersey to ban all bathrooms in public schools.
The governor also said that while he supported “the rights of every New Yorker to be who they want to be,” he was “very concerned” about the state’s current transgender policy.
The governor, who has repeatedly criticized transgender people in the past, had said in December that his administration would “stand up to those who seek to discriminate against transgender people.”
The governor said in January that he would issue an executive order banning discrimination against transgender students in public school bathrooms.
“I will stand up to anyone who seeks to deny them their rights and to deny others the opportunities they deserve,” Christie said.
The school board’s action in March to ban transgender students from using bathrooms or locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity was later reversed.
The district’s action was not.
State and federal courts have sided with the school board, saying the policy is consistent with state law.
“We are disappointed with the district’s response to this lawsuit,” Miller said in the statement.
The New Jersey Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the lawsuit on Wednesday.