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Rights case ruling favors Colo. transgender girl

Coy Mathis’s family says she started to come out of her shell when they began to allow her to live as a girl.

Ed Andrieski/Associated Press

Coy Mathis’s family says she started to come out of her shell when they began to allow her to live as a girl.

DENVER — Colorado officials say a suburban Colorado Springs school district discriminated against a 6-year-old transgender girl by preventing her from using the girls’ bathroom, in what advocates described as the first such ruling in the next frontier in civil rights.

Coy Mathis’s family raised the issue after school officials at Eagleside Elementary in Fountain said the first-grader could use restrooms in either the teachers’ lounge or in the nurse’s office, but not the girls’ bathroom. Coy’s parents feared she would be stigmatized and bullied.

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On Monday, the Mathis family and its lawyers celebrated the ruling on the steps of the state capitol. Coy, dressed in a glittering tank top, jeans, and pink canvas sneakers, ran around a towering blue spruce.

Coy was born a triplet with two sisters and identified as a girl before she began attending elementary school in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, an area heavy with military personnel near an Army base. Her father, Jeremy, is a former Marine.

At 5 months, she took a pink blanket meant for her sister Lily. Later, she showed little interest in toy cars and boy clothes with pictures of sports, monsters and dinosaurs on them. She refused to leave the house if she had to wear boy clothes. After her parents accepted her identity, they said, Coy come out of her shell.

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