A federal court has ordered the case involving transgender teen Gavin Grimm, on his front porch in Gloucester, Va., to move forward. (Steve Helber/AP)

A Virginia school board being sued by a transgender student over its restrictive bathroom policy has lost its bid to put the case on hold while it prepares an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and a federal court has ordered the case to move forward.

Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm — whose birth gender was female, but he now identifies as a boy — sued the Gloucester County School Board last year after it passed a policy banning him from the boys’ bathroom. He claimed that the board’s policy was a violation of Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in schools.

The federal Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit sided with Grimm in April, saying his suit could move forward. It also deferred to the Obama administration’s position that denying transgender students access to bathrooms that coincide with their gender identity amounts to sex discrimination and a violation of Title IX. The court remanded the case to a district court to be reheard in light of their judgment.

The Obama administration later issued guidance to all of the nation’s public schools, instructing them to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identities or risk losing federal funding.

The Gloucester County School Board asked the appeals court to put the case on hold while they prepared a writ of certiorari — a request to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear the case. In a motion, the board argued that the Obama administration had overstepped its authority by issuing the guidance and that it put the rights of transgender students ahead of individuals’ right to privacy.

The court on June 9 rejected the request to put a hold on the case, and on Friday issued a mandate ordering the case to move forward in the lower court. The school board can still pursue its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court as the case progresses.

The case marked the first time an appeals court had weighed in on the question of whether bathroom restrictions that bar transgender students from the facilities that match their gender identities constitutes sex discrimination. It is an issue that has become a flash point in the debate over transgender rights as states and localities move to require people to use bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificate.