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Punitive State Laws Are Outing Trans People With Felony Convictions

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People take part in a rally for trans rights outside the Stonewall Inn in February of 2017.

Eight transgender women have filed federal lawsuits in Wisconsin and Illinois over restrictions in both states that prevent individuals with felony convictions from applying to have their chosen names appear on government documents.

Filed on May 1st, the suits name Cook County, Illinois, and Kenosha County, Wisconsin, as defendants, and claim that the plaintiffs—all of whom have past criminal convictions—have been personally impacted by the punitive laws, which infringe upon the women’s “fundamental rights of speech, self-expression, liberty, and due process under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”

The complaints detail a litany of abuses the eight women have had to endure as a result of being habitually “outed” when forced to present forms of government identification that do not align with their chosen names and gender identities. In some instances, the suits allege, the women have been unable to hold steady, long-term employment as a result of their name discrepancies; in others, they have been denied hospital care and services because workers do not believe that they are the person listed on their identification.

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Thanks !

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