WASHINGTON The American Civil Liberties Union and over a dozen LGBT groups sent a letter to President Barack Obama today urging the commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence for disclosing classified information to the media to raise public awareness regarding the impact of war on innocent civilians. Manning is in the seventh year of a 35-year sentence.
Ian Thompson, ACLU legislative representative, offered the following statement:
"Ms. Manning is the longest serving whistleblower in the history of the United States. Granting her clemency petition will give Ms. Manning a first chance to live a real, meaningful life as the person she was born to be."
The letter reads, "Manning, a transgender woman who is being forced to serve out her sentence in an all-male prison, has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement — including for attempting suicide — and denied necessary medical treatment related to her gender dysphoria. The Army even opposed her request to use her legal name and to be referred to by female pronouns. While the armed forces have finally opened the door to transgender men and women who wish to serve, the government has continually fought Ms. Manning's efforts to be treated with basic dignity."
The following groups signed the letter:
American Civil Liberties Union
Family Equality Council
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders
League of United Latin American Citizens
Los Angeles LGBT Center
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Organization for Women
Pride at Work
Transgender Law Center
The letter can be found here:
This statement is online here: