In honor of PRIDE month this June, LMA’s Minnesota Local Group is highlighting a local law firm that made significant strides in advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Read on to learn about Stinson’s landmark ruling on transgender rights, written by LMA member Catherine Stolz.
Pro Bono Matter Achieves Landmark Victory for Transgender Students in Minnesota
A team of Stinson attorneys led by Tim Griffin and Andrew Davis, in partnership with the ACLU-MN and Gender Justice, won a landmark victory in the Minnesota Court of Appeals on a matter of first impression regarding the statutory and constitutional rights of transgender students in Minnesota. In an opinion issued on September 28, 2020, the court held that a transgender high-school student who is denied use of a locker room that corresponds with his gender identity and required to use a separate locker room facility, states a claim for discrimination under both the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the equal protection guarantees of the Minnesota Constitution.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights intervened in the case in support of the student. In addition, the case received national attention with more than a dozen organizations filing amicus briefs in support of the student, including the Minnesota State Bar Association, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association.
“This case affirms the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming students across the state,” said Davis and Griffin. “We are proud to have played a part in securing these rights for Minnesota students.”
Davis and Griffin were two of nine attorneys recognized with the Hennepin County Bar Association 2021 Excellence Awards for service to the legal profession, community and bar association for their work on this matter, which the Minnesota Department of Human Rights called a “landmark ruling”.
Both Davis and Griffin have contributed significantly to pro bono and diversity and inclusion efforts over the course of their legal careers. Davis has been honored for his pro bono work by the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Minnesota Supreme Court. Griffin’s pro bono work has also been recognized by the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee. Griffin has also received the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association’s Courage in Leadership Award.