Transgender Law Center Is Suing Gov. Mike Pence

Posted: September 30, 2016 in Saying it like it should be said., Solidarity
Why TLC is suing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
This month, Transgender Law Center joined MALDEF to file a lawsuit The Wall Street Journaldescribed as “bringing together two of the country’s hottest political issues” – transgender rights and immigration.
It’s true that much of the heated rhetoric, discriminatory legislation, and violence that has marked this year has centered on questions of gender and citizenship. “No men in women’s restrooms” and “build that wall” are currently battling it out for bigoted catchphrase of the year.
But for people like our plaintiff, these aren’t two hot-button political issues. They’re his life. Along with his roles as a husband and a father, they make up his identity, the daily facts and fears of his existence – stamped large on an Indiana State ID that uses his female birth name and thus outs him as transgender person every time he presents it.

The Indiana law that prevents our client, like all noncitizens in the state, from changing his name was passed in 2010, a year of sweeping legislative attacks on immigrants. It was the same year Arizona passed its infamous Senate Bill 1070, which has since largely been struck down by the Supreme Court. Even though our client received asylum and before that benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, he is blocked from changing his name to match his identity because of a law that stereotyped immigrants as fraudsters and criminals – much as, in passing House Bill 2 this year, North Carolina legislators stereotyped transgender people as imposters and predators.
Together in the movement,
Kris Hayashi, Executive Director
Transgender Law Center

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