CHICAGO (CBS)–An Illinois appellate court today heard oral arguments in the case of 18-year-old Nova Maday, who made headlines last year after she sued Palatine’s Township High School District 211 for equal-access to the girls’ locker room.
Maday appealed a Cook County court’s ruling in January that sided with her school, which says transgender students have to change in a private stall.
Maday has since graduated high school, but her fight for equality continues.
Surrounded by supporters Tuesday at her appeal hearing, Maday said she felt encouraged that the Illinois Appeal Court agreed to hear her case.
“This was never just about me,” Maday said. “I was being segregated from everybody else, and I was being treated like I wasn’t a girl.”
The Cook County judge who handed down the ruling in favor of the school earlier this year said the law has no clause for “full and equal access,” but the ACLU maintains the Cook County court is misreading the law.
“We’re simply challenging the assertion that my client can be treated differently from other girls because she’s transgender,” said ACLU attorney John Knight.
An attorney who represents a group of concerned parents and students from District 211 says the case comes down to privacy issues.
“One is (considering whether) girls should have a right not to undress in front of a male in the same locker room, and do girls have a right to not have a male undress in front of them?” attorney Thomas Olp said outside the court room Tuesday.
The law can be interpreted in many ways, and Maday sees the issue much differently.
“Nobody’s trying to force girls to undress in front of boys or boys to undress in front of a girls,” Maday said. That’s not what this case is about—it’s about equality and being treated the same as everybody else.”