Law and Justice

Judge chooses not to act...yet

US District Judge Thomas Schroeder heard arguments today on whether he should block enforcement of HB2.

Opponents of HB2 argued that it deprives transgender people of "respect, dignity and equal access to public facilities."

Judge Schroeder was asked to put the law on hold until after the trial on its constitutionality is held in late October/early November.

Challengers to the law include the US Justice Department and the ACLU.

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Asylum

A somewhat recent report was released in May, entitled Human Rights Conditions of Transgender Women in Mexico. It is a joint publication of the Transgender Law Center and Cornell University Law School LGBT Clinic.

This report's purpose is to assess the country conditions in Mexico so that immigration judges and asylum officers can be fully informed about the issues facing transgender asylum applicants. This report examines whether recent legal reforms in Mexico have improved conditions for transgender women. It finds that transgender women in Mexico still face pervasive discrimination, hatred, violence, police abuse, rape, torture, and vicious murder. These problems have actually worsened since same-sex marriage became available in the country in 2010. The report also suggests ways to improve the information about county conditions available to U.S. immigration judges and asylum officers so they can better adjudicate the asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture claims of Mexican transgender women.

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Room 127

 photo Dee Whigham at work_zpsdh6xckvf.jpgDee Whigham was a 25-year-old RN from Shubata, MS. Whigham worked at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Dee Whigham as they try to make sense of this terrible tragedy. She will be remembered at Forrest Health as an excellent nurse who was well-loved by her patients. I know Dee will be missed by her co-workers, supervisors, and the Forrest Health family.

--Evan Dillard, Forrest Health

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Taking it to court

Taking it to court

FreeState Justice has filed a lawsuit in Federal court against Talbot County on behalf of a 14-year-old Maryland transgender boy accusing an Eastern Shore school system of violating Title IX by denying him access to locker rooms consistent with his gender identity.

The boy, who was not identified in the lawsuit, will be a ninth grader at St. Michaels Middle-High School, and wants to try out for soccer in August, according to Jer Welter, FreeState Justice's deputy director and managing attorney.

During last school year, the boy used a gender neutral restroom far from the gym and his classrooms.

This has been a problem. It is stigmatizing for him. It marks him as different from the other students.

--Welter

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Fifteen

 photo DeeDee-500x402_zpsppravfip.jpgDeeniquia (Dee Dee) Dodds was a transgender woman living in NE Washington, DC. She was shot in the neck on July 4. She was on life support at Prince George's Hospital Center until she died on Wednesday. Then DC police finally issued a press release Thursday morning.

The press release marked the first time D.C. police have publicly disclosed the victim had been shot 10 days earlier. The decision not to publicly disclose the shooting at the time it happened has raised concern among trans activists.

Similar to a police incident report prepared at the time of the shooting, the press release identifies the victim by her male birth name and doesn’t disclose that she was trans. However, unlike the incident report, the press release identifies an “AKA” name [Also Known As] for the victim as Deeniqua Dodds.

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Revisiting Massachusetts

When last we checked on Massachusetts, it seemed as if progress were...er...progressing apace. The Senate had passed their version of the Transgender Public Accommodation bill 33-4, the House had passed their version 116-36 and Governor Charlie Baker had said he would sign the House version.

Now somehow we have slowed to whatever is less than a snail's pace. I'd suggest a glacial pace...but you know how vanishing those are becoming.

And the current legislative session is fast approaching conclusion.

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Transgender woman shot in the back in Orange County

 photo shooting_zpsjhyfzhkg.jpgAn unnamed transgender woman, thought to be in her twenties or thirties, was walking along Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana, CA, at about 3am yesterday, when she was shot in the back by a man who she said was Hispanic, with a grey hat.

After sharing that much information, the victim declined to cooperate further with the investigation.

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Judge refuses name change in Georgia

 photo Feldhaus_zps2xqi7miz.jpgRowan Elijah Feldhaus submitted a name change petition which Columbia County Superior Court Judge J. David Roper rejected. Rowan's previous name had been Rebeccah Elizabeth Feldhaus.

The question presented is whether a female has the salutatory right to change her name to a traditionally and obviously male name. The court concludes that she does not have such right.

--Judge Roper

Lambda Legal submitted a filing to the Georgia Court of Appeals challenging the denial yesterday.

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