Transgender Hobby Lobby employee wins Illinois court case to use women’s bathroom

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — A transgender Illinois woman has won a court case against her employer, Hobby Lobby, to use the restroom which conforms to her gender identity.

The Second District Appellate Court ruled that Hobby Lobby had violated the Illinois Human Rights Act by not allowing Meggan Sommerville to use the women’s restroom.

“I’m pleased to see the court recognize Hobby Lobby’s stance against its employee as what it is: discrimination based on gender-identity,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Ours is a welcoming and inclusive state, and the Illinois Department of Human Rights will go toe to toe with any employer or business that tries to treat individuals differently because of their identity.”

Sommerville had lodged a complaint with the IDHR, which ordered Hobby Lobby to allow her to use the women’s restroom. When Hobby Lobby refused to comply, the case was heard by the court.

“Friday’s court decision affirmed Ms. Sommerville’s right as a transgender woman to use the women’s restroom, categorically rejecting her employer’s insistence that reproductive organs or structures are the sole determinant of a person’s sex,” the State said in a news release.

The court also awarded “substantial” damages to Sommerville.

Illinois has also passed a law which allows a transgender person to alter their birth certificate.

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