Lambda Legal Files Federal Lawsuit Against Georgia General Assembly Officials for Firing Transgender Woman

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July 22, 2008

(Atlanta, Georgia, July 22, 2008) — Today Lambda Legal announced a federal lawsuit against Georgia General Assembly officials on behalf of Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as a Legislative Editor after she stated her intention to live as a woman in accordance with her health care providers' recommendations.

"The leaders of the state of Georgia should be an example of fair–mindedness and ethical decision-making," said Cole Thaler, Transgender Rights Attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta."Our client was a successful and professional employee who was fired because her boss didn't like who she is."

Glenn worked for two years in the General Assembly's Office of Legislative Counsel as an editor and proofreader of bill language.Glenn loved her job, but privately struggled with years of unrelenting distress as a male.Finally, she was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), a serious medical condition, and she prepared to undergo a course of professionally guided treatment that included gender transition. The American Medical Association and other medical authorities recognize that treatment is necessary to relieve the suffering that GID can cause. In 2007, Glenn informed her immediate supervisor, Beth Yinger, that she planned to proceed with her transition from male to female. Yinger passed the information on to the General Assembly's Legislative Counsel, Sewell Brumby, who is the head of the office in which Glenn worked. After confirming that Glenn intended to transition, Brumby fired her on the spot.

Lambda Legal's lawsuit asserts that Glenn's firing violated the Constitution's equal protection guarantee because it treated her differently due to her female gender identity and her nonconformity with gender stereotypes. In addition, General Assembly officials disregarded Glenn's GID and her needed treatment — also an equal protection violation.

"We should expect more from the leaders of our state than to fire me simply for being who I am," said Lambda Legal client Vandy Beth Glenn.

Cole Thaler, Transgender Rights Attorney and Greg Nevins, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Southern Regional Office in Atlanta are handling the case.

The case is Glenn v. Brumby et. al.


Contact: Tika Milan; tmilan@lambdalegal.org


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Related Issues: Transgender Rights