GLAD Publishes "Transgender Legal Issues In New England"
Publication to inform transgender people of their rights and legal protections
[BOSTON, MA] - Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)recently released its new publication, Transgender Legal Issues in New England, a comprehensive outline of the legal protections of transgender people. Through this publication, GLAD aims to raise awareness in the transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual communities as well as the general public about transgender rights in the six New England states. It also tackles the complicated issues of how transgender people can change their personal identification and documents to correctly reflect their gender.
"We wrote this publication to ensure that transgender people are aware of their legal protections under the law," said Jennifer Levi, Senior Staff Attorney. "Transgender people continue to face discrimination in the workplace, the housing market, at local businesses, and even in terms of their ability to form families. It is important that GLAD equip the transgender community with information on how they can protect their rights."
The publication of Transgender Legal Issues In New England comes on the heels of a series of major legal victories won by GLAD since 2000 in the fight to end discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
GLAD won two landmark decisions from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), which ruled that transgender people are protected under Massachusetts state laws prohibiting sex and disability discrimination. In Connecticut, GLAD won a ruling from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) that Connecticut state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex encompasses discrimination against transgender individuals. In Rhode Island, GLAD played a major role in writing an amendment to the state's anti-discrimination law that created explicit protection for transgender people, making Rhode Island only the second state in the nation to adopt a non-discrimination law that clearly prohibits discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.
GLAD's advocacy for the transgender community is known throughout all six New England states and also nationally due to a victory in which GLAD helped advance inclusion of transgender people in sex discrimination laws on the federal level. By publishing Transgender Legal Issues in New England, GLAD again takes the lead in transgender issues, making these victories and other legal protections accessible to the transgender community and the general public in one place, and in a more comprehensive way than ever before.
Transgender Legal Issues in New England is divided into three sections. GLAD's Public Education Director Gavi Wolfe explains that the questions addressed in the publication mirror the concerns of transgender people who call GLAD's Legal Information Hotline: 1-800-455-GLAD
The first section discusses how transgender people can pursue recourse against discrimination. Though many existing non- discrimination laws do not explicitly protect people from discrimination based on gender identity and expression, transgender people can often seek protection based on other factors, such as sex, disability, or sexual orientation.
The second section describes in depth other legal issues specific to the transgender community. It highlights family law issues (parenting rights and the validity of transgender people's marriages), and also addresses transgender people's right to be free from harassment and violence in places ranging from public restrooms to prisons.
The third section focuses on personal identification documents. It explains how transgender people can make name and sex designation changes to accurately reflect their gender identity on documents ranging from social security cards to driver's licenses. Procedures for making these changes in each of the six New England states can be found in the appendix, A Guide to Changing Personal Identification & Documentation in the New England States.
This handy, user-friendly tool from GLAD breaks down the most important legal steps to take and legal protections available to transgendered people by showing how much work has been done and how much left there is to do for this highly marginalized population," said Diego Sanchez, APR Program Coordinator of JRI TransHealth & Education Development Program.
Transgender Legal Issues in New England publication is currently available at http://www.glad.org (Publications, Transgender) and by calling GLAD's legal information hotline at 1-800-455-GLAD.