Into the overheated, under-informed bathroom wars comes a well-timed intrusion of sanity in the form of a decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The court's ruling in the case of Virginia high-school junior Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy, was correct -- and groundbreaking, with implications beyond the school setting. Yet the decision also creates the legal framework for situations more challenging -- and perhaps more unsettling -- than what should be the routine matter of letting people use their restroom of choice.
Grimm was born a girl but has changed his name, has undergone hormone therapy, and identifies as a boy. When Grimm and his mother told school officials of this fact, they took it in stride. He used the boys' restroom. No big deal.
Then the school board got involved, with community meetings that sunk to predictable levels, with warnings of impending sexual assaults and straight boys donning dresses to infiltrate the girls' bathroom.