Indiana state officials sued by transgender immigrant over name change law

Indiana state officials sued by transgender immigrant over name change law

[JURIST] A transgender non-citizen from Mexico filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday against Indiana Governor Mike Pence [official profile] and two other state officials over Indiana’s law that prevents non-citizens from changing their names. The law was enacted [WSJ report] in 2010 to prevent identity theft and was primarily aimed at undocumented immigrants, though it equally affects immigrants residing in the US legally. The anonymous plaintiff has argued in the lawsuit, however, that the law subjects transgender non-citizens to harassment by not allowing them to assume a name that reflects their self-identified gender. The Transgender Law Center and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) [advocacy websites] are supporting the lawsuit and have stated the Indiana law discriminates based on national origin and violates the privacy protections of transgender persons. The state officials have yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit.

The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community (LGBT) continues to face legal challenges throughout the world. On Saturday tens of thousands of people marched [JURIST report] in Mexico in protest after President Enrique Peña Nieto’s announced intention to recognize same-sex marriage. Last month the Belize Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] a law banning sodomy, declaring it unconstitutional and adversely impactful to the LGBT community. Last December voters in Slovenia rejected a law [JURIST report] that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. In November the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled [JURIST report] that same-sex couples can legally adopt children. The UN has become increasingly focused on the rights of LGBT individuals. In September 2015 12 UN agencies released a joint statement [JURIST report] arguing that abuses toward the LGBT population are human rights abuses impacting society as a whole. In June 2015 the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported [JURIST report] that members of the LGBT community continue to face discrimination and human rights abuses.