Federal Trans Case Proceeds

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Following a decision issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Lambda Legal's federal lawsuit on behalf of transgender woman Vandy Beth Glenn will move forward.

In 2007, when Glenn informed her immediate supervisor of her intended transition from male to female, she wasn't expecting to lose her job. But when the information was passed to her superiors and the intended transition was confirmed, Glenn was fired on the spot.

United States District Judge Richard W. Story writes: "Defendants do not claim that Glenn's transition would have rendered her unable to do her job nor do they present any government purpose whatsoever for their termination of Plaintiff's employment," adding that the "anticipated reactions of others are not a sufficient basis for discrimination."

Glenn worked for two years in the General Assembly's Office of Legislative Counsel as an editor and proofreader of bill language. She loved her job, but living as male was increasingly painful and distressing for her. Glenn's health care providers diagnosed her with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and agreed that gender transition was necessary for her health and well-being.

Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on Glenn's behalf in 2008, claiming that her termination violated the Constitution's Equal Protection guarantee. Later that year, the Georgia General Assembly attempted to have the case dismissed, saying the claims didn't apply.

In today's ruling, the court agreed with Lambda Legal that Glenn's Equal Protection claims are indeed viable because, not only are they based on the fact that she is both a person with GID and does not conform to sex stereotypes, but the defendants failed to offer a legitimate reason for the termination. "No one should lose their job for no good reason the way I did," Glenn says.

June 26, 2009