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Judge's Rulings Favor Latino AIDS Agency
2003-02-01

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Saying that the physical anatomy of transgendered people is not relevant to gender identity, a New York Supreme Court Judge has ruled in favor of a leading Latino HIV/AIDS agency that was being threatened with eviction from their offices by a commercial landlord who sought disclosure of the anatomical sex of the agency's clients.

In a motion by the landlord asking the judge to force the Hispanic AIDS Forum to disclose the anatomical sex at birth of its clients, the judge ruled that the physical anatomy of transgendered people is not relevant to gender identity.

The landlord also sought to make Hispanic AIDS Forum reveal its clients' names. The judge sided with Hispanic AIDS Forum that such a requirement would violate the HIV confidentiality rights of the clients since Hispanic AIDS Forum largely treats people with HIV and AIDS.

'By evicting us and forcing us to relocate, this landlord has already cost us too many precious resources—resources that could have helped keep people alive,' said Heriberto Sanchez Soto, Executive Director of the Hispanic AIDS Forum.

Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union's AIDS Project, Hispanic AIDS Forum brought suit against the landlord in June of 2001 after it refused to renew the lease on their Jackson Heights office because of complaints from other tenants that transgendered clients were using the 'wrong' restrooms.


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