Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-07-26
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lambda Legal Sues Puerto Rico for Anti-Trans Birth Certificate Policy
From a press release
2017-04-06

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


( San Juan, PR, April 6, 2017 ) — Lambda Legal today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four transgender Puerto Ricans and the LGBT rights organization Puerto Rico Para Tod@s to compel the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to allow transgender individuals to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates.

"Puerto Rico categorically prohibits changes to the gender marker on birth certificates, even for those whose birth certificate does not match who they are. This policy has no rational justification in law or practice," Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said. "In fact, government officials in Puerto Rico know this, as they, appropriately, allow transgender individuals to correct the gender marker on their drivers' licenses. Puerto Rico's birth certificate policy is at odds with the federal government's policies, with 46 out of the 50 states in the United States and the District of Columbia, and with common sense."

Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico on behalf of three transgender women — Daniela Arroyo Gonzalez, Joanna Cifredo and Victoria Rodriguez Roldan — and one transgender man, J.G., identified only by his initials, as well as Puerto Rico Para Tod@s. The lawsuit argues that denying transgender Puerto Ricans the ability to obtain accurate birth certificates violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the lawsuit argues that forcing transgender Puerto Ricans through their birth certificates to identify with a gender that is not who they are violates their right to free speech under the First Amendment.

"Forcing transgender Puerto Ricans to go through life with inaccurate birth certificates, a basic form of identification, unnecessarily exposes them to discrimination, harassment and violence. This policy is wrong, harmful and illegal." Gonzalez-Pagan said. "It compels transgender Puerto Ricans to out themselves at work and in public, compromises their mental health by preventing them from living fully and completely as who they are, and, as the epidemic of violence particularly targeting transgender women of color demonstrates, exposes them to significant harm."

According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, almost one-third of transgender individuals who showed an identity document with a name or gender marker that conflicted with their perceived gender were harassed, denied benefits or services, discriminated against or assaulted. Transgender individuals also are disproportionately targeted for hate crimes. And, the recent efforts by states like North Carolina and others to restrict access to single-sex restrooms and locker rooms underscores the importance of accurate identity documents, especially birth certificates.

"We plan to bring our experience litigating LGBTQ discrimination issues in other jurisdictions to bear here as we seek to enforce our clients' important, basic rights in this case," said Ropes & Gray partner Dan O'Connor. Ropes & Gray, a global law firm, has been recognized for its work assisting LGBTQ individuals with legal guidance and, a Ropes & Gray partner, Doug Hallward-Driemeier argued the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015.

"I'm a girl, I've known since I was three years old that I'm a girl," said Daniela Arroyo Gonzalez, an 18-year-old high school senior. "I've had to put up with a lot since I decided to live as my true self — harassment, discrimination and separate and unequal treatment. That's wrong and I hope with this lawsuit we can persuade Puerto Rico to do the right thing for me and for all transgender Puerto Ricans."

The lawsuit is Arroyo et al. v. Rossello-Nevares et al. You can read the complaint here: www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/pr_bc_20170406_complaint .

Read about birth certificate policies across the United States here: www.lambdalegal.org/know-your-rights/article/trans-changing-birth-certificate-sex-designations .

Handling the case on behalf of Lambda Legal are: Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Demoya Gordon, Dru Levasseur and Kara Ingelhart. They are joined by pro-bono co-counsel Celina Romany-Siaca of San Juan, PR, and Richard Batchelder, Daniel O'Connor, Aliki Sofis, David Soutter, Sara Jones and Bonnie Doyle of Ropes & Gray LLP.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Senate Trumpcare debate on ADA anniversary, rally in DC to #ProtectOurCare 2017-07-26 - WASHINGTON-DC: Yesterday, 50 Senators and Vice President Pence as the 51st vote pulled a fast one on the public by making a key ...


Gay News

Justice Department says civil rights laws won't apply to LGBTQ people 2017-07-26 - From HRC: Trump-Pence Administration Asserts Civil Rights Laws Won't Apply to LGBTQ People DOJ files amicus brief in direct opposition to decades ...


Gay News

Ban on military service by trans adults could impact 15,000+ now on duty 2017-07-26 - Los Angeles — In a series of tweets today, President Trump announced that the United States will not "accept or allow" transgender people ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois condemns President Trump's rejection of transgender servicemembers 2017-07-26 - Equality Illinois has added its voice to the large chorus of individuals and organizations opposing U.S. President Donald Trump's ban of openly transgender ...


Gay News

Trump announces ban on transgender people in U.S. military 2017-07-26 - President Donald Trump, on July 26, announced a ban on transgender individuals in the military—via social media. This move is a reversal ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Black and Pink comes to Chicago 2017-07-26 - This August, Chicago is poised to make queer history. From August 4-6, the Windy City will host one of the largest gatherings of ...


Gay News

Transgender mental-health survey launched 2017-07-26 - The National LGBTQ Task Force has partnered with Trans Lifeline to launch what is being called the nation's first transgender mental-health survey. The ...


Gay News

U.S. Sen. Baldwin sponsors LGBT data-collection bill 2017-07-26 - Openly gay U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, on July 18, introduced legislation, the LGBT Data Inclusion Act, requiring federal surveys to include information on ...


Gay News

Restorative Justice Community Court to launch next month 2017-07-26 - The first Restorative Justice Community Court ( RJCC ) in the state of Illinois will launch at UCAN's North Lawndale campus in August, ...


Gay News

Couple files bias complaint against Akira 2017-07-26 - A Chicago couple, one of whom is a transgender woman, has filed a discrimination complaint against the local clothing chain Akira. David Hartwell ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.