Lambda Legal Commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance
(New York, November 18, 2011)—Today, in recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance, Lambda Legal issued the following statement by Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Attorney:
“Today, on the 13th International Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember those we have lost and continue to lose to anti-transgender hatred and violence, and recommit ourselves to fighting for full equality for all transgender and gender non-conforming people.
“The Massachusetts legislature just passed a transgender rights bill, making Massachusetts the 16th state in the union to treat transgender people as a protected class. The bill protects transgender residents of Massachusetts in housing, credit, and the workplace, and includes transgender people under hate crimes protections. This is an important step, but in a year when eight transgender people were murdered in this country, and many more worldwide, it is not enough.
"Lambda Legal continues to fight for the rights of transgender people at work, in school, and in every aspect of their daily lives. We convinced an Indiana school district to change its school dress code policies after bringing a lawsuit on behalf of K.K. Logan, a transgender woman who was barred from her high school prom for wearing a dress; we and our partners at the ACLU won a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of transgender women incarcerated in Wisconsin who were barred from receiving transition-related health care, a ruling upheld on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; we filed a lawsuit in Oregon state court against the State of Oregon and Public Employees Benefit Board on behalf of Alec Esquivel, a transgender man denied medically necessary surgery because he is transgender; and on December 1, we will present arguments urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to uphold a federal court ruling that the action taken against our client, Vandy Beth Glenn, who was fired from her job as a legislative editor by the Georgia General Assembly based on her gender identity, was illegal and discriminatory.
"Lambda Legal's 2009 survey on health care fairness, When Health Isn't Caring, revealed that 70 percent of all transgender and gender nonconforming respondents had experienced discrimination in health care settings—we need laws that guarantee equal access to health care. And until Congress passes the federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), too many transgender people can be fired or face job discrimination based on their gender identity and expression.”