Transgender student asks US high court to keep out of bathroom case
A gender-neutral bathroom is seen at the University of California, Irvine in Irvine, California September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Lawyers for a transgender high school student in Virginia asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to keep out of a legal dispute about bathroom rights and allow a lower court ruling in the student's favor to remain in place.

The high court is weighing an emergency request from the Gloucester County School Board to prevent the student, Gavin Grimm, who was born a girl but now identifies as male, from using the boys' bathroom when school resumes.

The case is the first time that the legal fight over transgender bathroom rights, an increasingly divisive issue in the United States, has reached the Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of Grimm, 17, to challenge the school board's bathroom policy, which requires transgender students to use alternative restroom facilities.

A federal district court has put in place an injunction favoring Grimm, and this month a federal appeals court refused to put the injunction on hold.

(Reporting by David Ingram in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)