Annual Update 2009 - Transgender Docket

July 20, 2009

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 > Annual Update 2009 - Transgender
 > Schroer v. Library of Congress - Case Profile
 > Seals v. Old Dominion Freight Lines, Inc. - Case Profile
 > Kirk v. Arnold - Case Profile

Advocating for New Legal Protections for Transgender People

Diane Schroer
Diane Schroer testifies at the first-ever Congressional hearings on discrimination against transgender Americans.
Federal: helped put together first-ever Congressional hearings on discrimination against transgender Americans (before House Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions)

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Connecticut: worked in coalition to lobby for statewide bill prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on gender identity or expression (pending)

District of Columbia: worked for broad and effective implementing regulations to enforce provisions of Human Rights Act making discrimination against transgender persons unlawful

Illinois: helped persuade the City of Chicago to adopt comprehensive policies for its homeless shelters to ensure a safe and supportive environment for clients regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity

Maryland: advocated for bills to add gender identity to state antidiscrimination laws (unsuccessful)

Massachusetts: worked in coalition to add gender identity and expression to protected class language in state nondiscrimination laws and laws against bias-motivated violence (unsuccessful)

Michigan: successfully advocated for City of Detroit to amend its human rights ordinance to add protections for transgender people

Missouri: worked successfully in coalition to add gender identity to Kansas City’s Non-Discrimination Policy

New York: worked for passage of the Gender Expression Non- Discrimination Act (GENDA ) (passed Assembly by wide margin but tabled in Senate committee)

Washington: worked in coalition to help make the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association the first in the nation to adopt sensitive and individualized rules about participation in athletics by transgender students

Litigating against Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Public Accommodations

Diane Schroer
Kaylee Seals, a transgender woman who sued her employer for sex discrimination after being fired for “impersonating a female.”
Nationwide: published Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law

Arizona: represented transgender woman assaulted in state’s largest homeless shelter when forced to use men’s restroom; shelter has preliminarily agreed to new policy requiring clients to be housed according to their gender identity

District of Columbia: won at trial against Library of Congress for denying a job to a transitioning Special Forces veteran; federal judge issued groundbreaking ruling that not hiring someone for changing genders is sex discrimination under federal law

District of Columbia: represented transgender federal employee whose security clearance was revoked after transitioning

Missouri: successfully persuaded the state Commission on Human Rights that a truck driver fired because of her gender identity could sue under existing state law prohibiting sex and disability discrimination; now representing aggrieved driver in suit against trucking company

New York: representing Hispanic AIDS Forum, settled litigation against landlord over dispute that began when HAF’s lease was not renewed because other tenants complained about use of the building’s single-sex restrooms by HAF’s transgender clients; as part of settlement, defendant agreed to make all reasonable accommodation for transgender individuals concerning restroom facilities

Tennessee: filed sex discrimination lawsuit against Old Dominion Freight Lines for firing a truck driver for “impersonating a female” after she informed them that she was transitioning from male to female

Utah: filed friend-of-the-court brief in 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Utah bus driver fired for using the “wrong” bathroom (unsuccessful)

Challenging Barriers to Obtaining ID Documents

Karissa Rothkopf
Karissa Rothkopf, who is suing the state of Illinois for refusing to change the gender marker on her birth certificate because she had sex reassignment surgery abroad.
Illinois: filed suit against the state on behalf of two women unable to change the gender marker on their birth certificates because they had sex reassignment surgery abroad

Michigan: worked in coalition to get state officials to change their policy requiring proof of sex reassignment surgery for change of gender marker on one’s birth certificate

Missouri: represented M-to-F transgender woman in perjury criminal proceedings; client had received Missouri court judgment changing her name and gender but Nebraska refused to change the gender marker on her birth certificate; client and female partner then got marriage license and county prosecutor charged her with perjury; charges dropped on day of hearing

Fighting Denial of Transgender-Specific Health Care

Idaho: helped Native American transgender inmate receive hormone therapy for gender identity disorder

Michigan: unsuccessfully represented transgender woman in effort to get Medicaid coverage of prescribed hormone therapy

Michigan: worked in coalition to get state Medicaid officials to change their policy of denying coverage for gender identity disorder

New York: filed friend-of-the-court brief in appeals court on behalf of teenager in foster care who sought sex reassignment surgery from the state (unsuccessful)

Wisconsin: took case to trial in federal court challenge to new law barring state prisons from providing hormone therapy to inmates (court has yet to render decision)

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