( Augusta, GA, May 16, 2017 ) Today Lambda Legal received word that its client, Rowan Feldhaus, tragically passed away after complications from surgery. Lambda Legal represented Rowan in his appeal to legally change his name to reflect his gender identity. Beth Littrell, Lambda Legal Counsel who successfully represented Rowan in his case, issued the following statement:
"Our hearts are heavy at the tragic loss of a courageous young man who fought for the right to determine his own name and destiny. An Army reservist and a student, Rowan's grace, quiet dignity, strength and self-assurance were an inspiration to me and many others who heard his story.
"We represented Rowan, along with Andrew Baumert, in a successful Georgia Court of Appeals battle to ensure he had the right to change his name to reflect his gender identity. After having been discriminated against by a judge who refused to allow him to change his name because he was transgender, Rowan wanted to make sure that no other transgender person was similarly insulted and objectified. Because Rowan stood up, Georgia judges are now required to allow people to change their names without bias.
"We offer our deepest condolences to Rowan's family and loved ones during this difficult time. We will honor Rowan's life by continuing to fight discrimination in all its forms against transgender people. At only 25 years old, Rowan was taken from us too soon, but he left a legal legacy that will live on and help others for many years to come."