In Re Feldhaus

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Status: Open Issues: Transgender Rights

Case appealing a trial court decision denying a transgender man’s name change petition.

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Rowan Feldhaus, 24, is from Grovetown GA. He works with the Singh Investment Group and is a student at Augusta University. Although doctors assigned his sex as female at birth, Rowan’s gender identity, and therefore his sex, is male. He filed a petition for name change in July 2015.  Even though Rowan provided all the necessary information for a name change, in March 2016, the court denied Rowan’s petition based on what Judge Roper described as “this court’s policy” of denying names that are not indicative of gender in a way he personally approves.

Lambda Legal filed an appeal arguing that the trial court’s denial was an abuse of discretion, discrimination based on sex, and a violation of the right to freedom of expression.