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 2018-03-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



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

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: .

Read about birth certificate policies across the United States here: .

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.


Gay News

Kenya Court Finds Forced Anal Exams Unconstitutional 2018-03-22 - ( Nairobi, March 22, 2018 ) — A Court of Appeal in Mombasa, Kenya, ruled on March 22, 2018, that conducting forced anal ...

Gay News

Highly gender nonconforming teens at greater risk of bullying and violence, study finds 2018-03-22 - LOS ANGELES — A new study investigating gender expression and victimization of youth ages 13-18 found that the most gender nonconforming students reported ...

Gay News

City, ACLU, groups enter agreement on police oversight 2018-03-22 - CHICAGO — In a major development in the fight for federal oversight of the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ), over a dozen ...

Gay News

More Anti-LGBTQ Talk from Ben Carson shows discriminatory stance 2018-03-22 - Washington, DC —When questioned about a decision to remove HUD training materials involving equal access for transgender homeless people during a congressional committee ...

Gay News

Chicago March Among 800+ Globally Following the Douglas High School Shooting 2018-03-22 - CHICAGO—March 21, 2018— Students organizing the Chicago "March For Our Lies" event on March 24th today announced programming and media logistics information for ...

Gay News

National LGBTQ Task Force calls for reevaluation the role of guns in America 2018-03-21 - WASHINGTON-DC: The National LGBTQ Task Force released a new platform on gun policy that condemned the myth that mental health is linked to ...

Gay News

Title VII, Where and why "sex" matters to LGBT employees 2018-03-21 - Lori Franchina worked as a rescue worker for Providence, Rhode Island, and for four years, everything was fine. Then one day, she was ...

Gay News

In Eastern Caribbean LGBT People Face Bias, Violence Under Colonial-Era Laws 2018-03-21 - ( Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018 ) — Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) ...

Gay News

Gun-control activists meet with Pfleger 2018-03-21 - A group of gun-control activists—including outspoken Parkland, Florida, survivor Emma Gonzalez, an out bisexual—met with Chicago's Father Michael Pfleger at Saint Sabina church, ...

Gay News

Vanessa Sheridan helps trans community at Center on Halsted 2018-03-21 - Vanessa Sheridan is a woman of many talents. She's an author and a musician, a veteran and an advocate. She was a ...


Copyright © 2018 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.








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.