Desert Ironwood »« Mitt Romney, distilled

If you ever wanted a perfect example of why government should be secular…

…just examine the logic and evidence behind this judge’s decision to deny a transgender woman to have a name change.

“A so-called sex-change surgery can make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more than an imitation of the opposite sex,” the judge wrote in a seven-page order last year.

“Here, petitioner has not even had the surgery by which his sex purports to be changed. Thus, based on the foregoing and the DNA evidence, a sex change cannot make a man a woman or a woman a man all of which, the Court finds is sufficient in and of itself to deny petitioner’s request for a name change,” Graves wrote.

“To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent,” Graves wrote. “It is notable that Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …’ The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female.”

That is a scientifically and ethically bankrupt position, driven entirely by a fundamentalist interpretation of Biblical dogma. We do not determine gender by chromosome counts; what is this judge going to do to determine the Official Sex of individuals with androgen insensitivity syndrome (XY chromosomes, but physically female)? And how can he make the leap from the book of Genesis to the “DNA code”? The Bible verse he cites says absolutely nothing about the genetic basis of sex, or whether it is fixed and inflexible in any individual.

The Bible is silent on this subject. The science tells us that gender is far more fluid than Judge Black&White thinks it is. Yet that ignoramus is trying to use both to justify a cruel and stupid decision.

Maybe the problem isn’t so much religious people as it is idiots in our judiciary, who think the nonsense their preacher thunders at them from the pulpit is actually information of worth in making a reasonable decision.

Comments

  1. baal says

    I’d refile with the next judge over. This one’s position is not a legal one. It’s too bad the petitioner can’t sue for damages – it’s going to take time and effort to re-file.

  2. Ichthyic says

    That is a scientifically and ethically bankrupt position

    indeed.

    on the bright side, it is an easy one to appeal.

  3. Beatrice says

    stupid bigoted fucker Bill Graves:

    “If you’re born male, you stay male, according to the study I’ve done on DNA.

    Yeah, right. You have studied DNA.

    *spits*

  4. Robin Raianiemi says

    Unfortunately, in most places, when you apply for a name/gender marker change, the judge you get is basically random.

    In other words, if she makes a second attempt, and the same judge gets assigned to her case, she’s out-of-luck. Again. And applying for a name/gender marker change generally isn’t cheap.

    It’s expensive to transition. Trust me, I know. Every penny counts.

    She shouldn’t have to put up with this Bible-thumping cretin, in addition to all the other crap transgendered people have to stomach.

  5. doubtthat says

    No, no, I’m going to go ahead and defend the ruling.

    Let’s see, First Amendment…no…hmm…well there’s the…no…how about…the children?…what would the Founders say?…I got it:

    Why can’t we talk about the real issues, Obama is fucking up the economy!!!!

  6. Ichthyic says

    Why can’t we talk about the real issues, Obama is fucking up the economy!!!!

    now, come on, we all know the REAL issue is that Obama shouldn’t even be president, given that he used a time travel machine to fake his own birth!

  7. says

    Anybody else suspect the “study” he’s done involved watching Jurassic Park?

    My first thought was that his study probably involved “Mr. Sock.”

  8. Forbidden Snowflake says

    What Ing said. The Bible verses are just icing on the shit-cake, the core argument itself is pretty much secular in nature, though pseudo-scientific.

  9. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    This is such a mix of right and wrong.

    He’s right in that surgeries don’t make men women or women men. No. Gender is different from sex and any modification of sex is not a modification of gender.

    Hooray, he gets one right. By accident.

    On the other hand…

    No, there is too much. Let me sum up:

    If God had meant for men to have masculine names and women to have feminine names, ze wouldn’t have permitted androgynous names like Niccola, Lane, or Alex.

  10. davidhart says

    Hmmm. Here in the UK, if you are in the course of transitioning, you can, after 2 years, apply to a specially set up ‘gender recognition panel’ for a gender recognition certificate, and you then take that to a registrar who will issue you a new birth certificate under your newly recognised gender (so that no one you might ever need to show your birth certificate to will be be able to see that it says ‘Male… no, wait: Female’ or vice versa).

    Admittedly there are still odd quirks, like if you are married, the gender recognition automatically annuls your marriage, meaning if you want to stay with your partner you need to go through a civil partnership ceremony, or vice versa, and there is, disappointingly, a religious exemption for Church of England clergy who are not required to marry two people one of whom has undergone this process, but in general, it’s a fairly simple system that is not vulnerable to the whims of whether a judge is a bigot. Is it beyond the legal system in the USA to come up with something similar?

  11. stevem says

    Oh, I’m probably reading too much into this, but I ASSUME that this is NOT just name change. [remember Johnny Cash song "Boy named Sue"? I mean, some people have changed their name(legally) to something completely ridiculous] More likely it’s getting her Driver’s License to say “F” instead of “M” under “Sex”. Still a poor, ridiculous, judgement badly argued, just want to pull the focus away from the “name” change issue and back to the sexual re-assignment issue.

  12. didgen says

    At least it seems the majority are against the ruling from reading the comments. Maybe there’s hope for Oklahoma. Or not.

  13. says

    I love the bit about “the court should not be encouraging this sort of thing.” I can just see it now:

    “I’ve thought about it for years and saved thousands of dollars, and I’m gonna do it… I’m going to get a sex change.”

    “You know the judge might not let you legally change your name, right?”

    “Oh. Um. No one told me that. Well, geez, why even bother with the sex change now?”

  14. Randomfactor says

    Anybody else suspect the “study” he’s done involved watching Jurassic Park?

    This shit is depressing.

    Remember how practically the first guy killed in JP was the bloodsucking lawyer? He’s just paying DNA back…

  15. Beatrice says

    stevem,

    You might be underestimating people’s spitefulness.

    I can imagine a judge who generally allows all kinds of ridiculous name changes denying one to someone because they are trans.

  16. A. Noyd says

    “‘To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent,’ Graves wrote.”

    Here’s the thing. If it’s fraud, who is it defrauding? It’s not just a transphobic argument, it’s ultimately sexist as well. Because even if we were to grant that a transwoman is “lying” about her sex*, the only way that could possibly matter** is if we refuse to treat men and women as equal. Fraud, in the legal sense, involves deception for some sort of undeserved gain. This judge is saying this woman is trying to gain something she has no right to, but if men and women are equal, what could that possibly be?

    ……..
    *She’s not, of course. Pretending one can know another person’s identity better than she can herself is ridiculous.
    **At least to more than her sexual partners–and Zinnia Jones just tackled the partner thing.

  17. kayden says

    So why in a secular country does this Judge get to cite Biblical scriptures in his decision?

    He needs to be sanctioned and his decision needs to be overturned. Outrageous.

    And people change their names for all kinds of reasons. I worked with a woman who changed her name so that it was written in small caps. Kind of eccentric, but that was her right.

  18. Ichthyic says

    So why in a secular country does this Judge get to cite Biblical scriptures in his decision?

    it’s an opinion expressed on his own decision.

    frankly, judges don’t actually have to even explain their decisions at all if they don’t wish to.

    there’s no requirement unless there is a legal challenge filed against the decision.

    but yeah, I rather doubt even THAT judge would consider the bible a legal authority to cite in support of a decision, if it came down to a direct challenge.

  19. doubtthat says

    “frankly, judges don’t actually have to even explain their decisions at all if they don’t wish to.”

    That’s not true in my jurisdiction, and I can’t imagine it’s true anywhere in the US. Judges are required to publish their findings of fact and conclusions of law. If they don’t, the appellate courts will direct them to do so.

    Just won an appeal on this very issue.

  20. echidna says

    Stevem, if you read the article, it is about simply a name change. Other judges in the county disagree with this judge.

  21. drr1 says

    Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

    Trial court opinion in Loving v. Virginia (1959).

    Oklahoma. Boldly moving forward…to the mid-20th century.

  22. doubtthat says

    And I should add that after being required to produce a clear statement of facts and legal conclusions, the judge has based their decision on a Bible passage, that will be appealed…rather eagerly.

    Judges are not free agents in the American legal system. They’re bound by statute, precedence, and ultimately the Constitution. A decision that read, “I decided no because of the Bible,” would not withstand the mildest of appellate scrutiny. That’s why the judge in this case adds a bunch of nonsense about DNA–he wants to make it seem like the decision was something other than ignorant Bible thumping.

    I bet this gets appealed. The ACLU or some activist group will likely step in to help with the legal expense.

  23. says

    He studied DNA like he studies the Bible – shallowly, cherry picking the bits he wants, and interpreting it to mean what he has already decided it means.

    He didn’t base his entire argument on “COZ GAWD”. I guess that’s progress… Of an electron-microscopic amount.

  24. Ichthyic says

    The ACLU or some activist group will likely step in to help with the legal expense.

    I’ll bet against this.

    there is no need for them to get involved, since a simple refile will likely be approved by a different judge.

  25. Trebuchet says

    He didn’t base his entire argument on “COZ GAWD”. I guess that’s progress… Of an electron-microscopic amount.

    He did, however, clearly base his entire DECISION on it. The DNA citing is just obfuscation. He’s been taking lessons from the Discovery Institute.

  26. says

    In an unusual move, the judge sought out an expert opinion from a physician.

    Probably a dentist who attends the same church.

    Getting married doesn’t mean you’re suddenly someone else’s child, so I assume those name changes are out, too. Plus, how could law enforcement possibly keep up?

  27. Stevarious says

    “If you’re born male, you stay male, according to the study I’ve done on DNA.

    Yeah, right. You have studied DNA.

    I believe him. Or at least, I believe that he thinks he’s studied DNA. That is to say, he’s studied DNA like he’s studied the bible.

    You see, ‘Bible Study’ is very different from any other sort of study. When you ‘regular study’, you do the whole thing where you track down in different books by different authors a whole bunch of information related to a subject. Usually you will try to memorize the information, and (if you’re a good student) build a concept in your mind of what all the information means when put together. It requires a great deal of patience and diligence.

    Bible Study, however, is totally different. In Bible Study, you take a teeny tiny passage – usually one sentence, sometimes as much as a paragraph – from just one book. This sentence, while it may have a specific meaning in it’s context, is typically rather vague when taken out of context like this, but that’s okay. Then, an Important Authority Person (usually a white male, preferably with greying hair) spends an hour or so telling you a lesson that can be learned from this passage. This lesson usually has little or nothing to do with the context of the passage either, but that’s okay too.

    The point is not to learn about what the passage actually meant when it was written – the point is to use the assumed authority of the book you’re reading from to make the people accept the lesson you are teaching. This lesson can be pretty much anything, anything at all – ‘Give all your money to the church and if you’re properly faithful, god will send you lots more money in return’ is a popular one right now.

    So, when he says he’s ‘studied’ DNA, he probably means that he’s studied it in the same way he’s been studying the bible all his life. An Important Authority Person told him one fact about DNA, spent an hour or so explaining what the Important Authority Person wanted that fact to mean, and boom. In his mind, Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves is now an Important Authority Person on DNA.

  28. glodson says

    I assume the Right is going to cry out about this legislating from the bench, and judicial activism, right? Right?

    Shit, I forgot, Religious Right. My bad. The sad thing is that I don’t think this idiot would even understand the explanation on why he’s wrong. He’d probably just respond with “that ain’t in my Bible, and that Law is higher!”

    Of course, if he had cited another magical book, the Religious Right would crap enough bricks to build a house.

  29. NitricAcid says

    I can see why he’s worried about “fraud”- this judge probably spends his weekends picking up women in bars, and doesn’t want any of them to have ever been male in any way whatsoever.

  30. ckitching says

    So why in a secular country does this Judge get to cite Biblical scriptures in his decision?

    Well, it’s quite convenient of him to have done so in his refusal. Assuming the person looking for this name change doesn’t just decide to drop this and try again and hope for a different judge, this judgement has pretty much all you need for an appeal.

    I suspect the others are right that this person will just try again later, but I’d rather see a court slap this judge down for violating this person’s first amendment rights.

  31. CorvusCorvax says

    Anybody else suspect the “study” he’s done involved watching Jurassic Park?

    Isn’t gender fluidity somewhat essential to the plot of Jurassic Park?

  32. Rob says

    Am I missing something? This person just wants to change their name, right?

    Has the judge never heard of a boy named Sue? How about that well known legal argument that “a rose by any other name smells as sweet”?

    Does the judge object to names that can apply to either sex? Maybe only when the person looks a bit androgynous or dresses ambiguously.

    Someone needs to go and laugh and mock at this numpty.

  33. vhutchison says

    Judge Bill Graves was previously one of the WORST legislators in the Oklahoma House – and that says a lot. He is of the same ilk as the notorious Rep. Sally Kern, the current heir to Graves’ religiosity in pushing very bad legislation. He was elected to his current judgeship!

    Graves proposed textbook disclaimers against evolution and similar bills as a legislator. Fortunately strong opposition from pro-science groups finally stopped his bills, often after passing overwhelmingly on the House floor.

    The following quotes provide an idea of his views:

    “I think it’s very important for children to know … If they just believe that they came from some slime in a swamp that’s a whole lot different from being created in the image of God.”

    “We have the government taking away the rights of these children to know they were created by a God, and I think that’s wrong.” He added, “If you tell kids that they’re not any different than animals, pretty soon they’re going to start acting like that, and that’s what we’re having in our society today.”

  34. says

    This verdict is utter BS. Not only because the judge’s obviously religious belief that he can get to decide what gender is she. But on the fact that first names are genderless in just about any legal system. Getting called Sue is by no means an indication that you are a woman. Even in Spanish-speaking countries (my own experience). There are women named “María José” even though José is usually a man name. Or men called “Guadalupe” which is usually a women’s name (And ironically enough, both of those happen for religious reasons).

  35. stevem says

    Echidna, you’re right, I haven’t read the actual article (now on my “to-do” list), but now trying to understand the “fraud” accusation. Could it be she has legal documents in her male name and seems to be trying to “evade” them by changing her name? I know, far fetched, … just asking. (if so, the judge would have cited so, so probably not).

  36. M Groesbeck says

    The ACLU or some activist group will likely step in to help with the legal expense.

    The ACLU is still busy defending Chick-Fil-A’s “kill the fags” business model.

  37. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Ah fuck.

    The thing that gets me, and by ‘gets’ I mean enrages and saddens in a gut clenching, tear inducing kinda way, is not that this judge and all his regressive godletting kind commit compassion-less acts with nary a batted eye. It’s that they do so while being, by and large, perfectly capable of feeling compassion. Despite appearances most are not actual monsters. They love and care just like anyone else, but do so only in a very narrow set of circumstances.

    That ability to other people who are struggling to make sense of themselves and their lives in such a profound way does my head in. And for the love of all fuck I can’t see why it doesn’t do their heads in too.

    In any kind of just world the portions of their brains responsible for compassion would look at the rest of their neighbourhood and go “What?! Fuck this, it’s horrible here.” and rip themselves out.

    They’d stomp and trample across the foetid morass surrounding them in a mad bid to be free. Crowding and pushing through the sinuses and then out into open air they’d cry: “We’re Free! Free at last!” Free to find a home where the shackles, locks and blinding hoods don’t fall upon them every time the optic centres light up with a face that defies easy categorisation.

    And in doing so they’d leave behind a true monster. A zombie who could not hide behind selective acts of kindness, obvious for all to see and avoid, or put away, or put down even, depending on the kind of destruction it wreaks to those around it. What a world that would be.

  38. jose says

    Is it even legal to base a court decision on a religion instead of on the law? Separation of church and state? No?

  39. Steve Caldwell says

    It’s funny that the judge quoted Genesis 1:27 (“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”).

    If men and women are both created in God’s image, doesn’t that imply that God contains both male and female characteristics (regardless of the pronoun used in the NIV translation)?

    That would suggest that God is something other than male or female in gender — third gender or genderqueer perhaps?

  40. DLC says

    If the decision were appealed, the judge here would be overturned. He should be thrown off the bench by the state, disbarred by the Bar Assn. and publicly shamed. I wish I could make those things happen.

  41. says

    The judiciary is part of the government, is it not? One of those checks and balances? So how can a judge quote the Bible as his deciding reference? He’s privileging his religion over everything else. Besides, it’s legal to change your name to anything you want as long as it’s not for a fraudulent purpose. I don’t understand.

  42. says

    Wow. The first two paragraphs are problematic enough. Once he starts quoting the bible, it’s almost as if he’s going out of his way to give reasons for an appeal.

  43. says

    stevem – no, no such documents exist.

    The good judge got his advice on DNA from a far-right Republican legislator who’s an MD, via an affidavit.

    He’s been given evidence that conflicts with that, but decided to ignore it. Since this was a $140 formality for name change, the defendant – and make no mistake about it, that’s what he treated her as – had no $500/hr expert witnesses on hand to challenge the “evidence” this judge took upon himself to procure as prosecutor.

    He gave three distinct, wholly secular reasons in the judgement.

    First, that the defendant might possibly in future commit a crime, leave DNA evidence, and the police might get confused by a female name.

    Second, the defendant might possibly in future get divorced, and seek to marry a man, thereby violating the constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage.

    Thirdly, as a matter of public policy, “sex changes” must be discouraged as they are fraudulent.

    Transsexuality is prima facie evidence of fraud, by its very nature, according to his religious belief. God made the defendant a man, that cannot be changed because of “the DNA”.

    A judge has considerable discretion in such cases, and if he suspects the name change to be in aid of some fraudulent scheme, is allowed to veto it.

    This is the second time this judge has made a similar ruling.
    Judgement in full as PDF

  44. doubtthat says

    @Ichthyic

    I’m in the Great State of Kansas, but I practiced in Chicago for a while, as well.

    It occurs to me that the requirement may be more specific to the subject matter, as well. I do mostly family law, and the appeal was over the failure to explain a rather unequitable property settlement through a divorce. The appellate courts were pretty harsh on judges that fail to explain themselves because there is no way to properly judge whether a division was equitable if the judge doesn’t explain his/her reasoning.

    I’m guessing that appellate courts everywhere take a similar position as it is there duty to scrutinize the lower court’s decision, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it differs from state to state.

  45. Francisco Bacopa says

    People might have been more relaxed about all this back in the 19th century. There is plenty of evidence of biological females presenting as men and serving in the Union and Confederate armies. Some even continued to present as men after the war, thus showing they were truly transgendered. And transwomen may have been accepted too. A friend of mine came across a couple of MtF name changes in the 1880’s from the Maryland State Archives.

  46. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Yeah, this is just wrong on so many levels.

    I wonder, does he object to men named Evelyn or Leslie? Or perhaps to women with those names?

    And what about Latinos named Jhonny? Or African Americans named Juan?

    Or whatever. She’s not out to cheat anyone by changing her name, so who gives a fuck?

    People piss me off. I just trust this’ll be overturned on appeal.

  47. anteprepro says

    “I don’t understand how biology works, therefore transexuality is fraud and thus Jesus disapproves of your ungodly name change!” *bangs gavel*

    I imagine that if this judge keeps up the “good” “work”, he will be crowned King of the Republicans before the decade is done.

  48. says

    I think this is rather an example of religion being used as a post-hoc rationalisation for bigotry more so than religion-induced bigotry. He’s butchering science to come to the exact same conclusions, and if he had any other authorative set of propositions at hand to help him out, he’d butcher that and come yet again to the same conclusions whatever it actually says. The Bible isn’t very explicit about the matter, to say the least, and sex or gender transitions haven’t been unknown in Abrahamic theocracies. Hell, even today one of the worst extant theocracies not only allows but partially pays for sex-change through healthcare under certain conditions (I’m talking about Iran).

  49. pointinline says

    Here in the UK it is a simple administrative matter to change your name. It costs £35 but is a straightforward process and no-one’s permission is required.
    Land of the free indeed?

  50. says

    Good Lord, this ruling is outrageous. And how might this make the victim in all of this feel? What message does that send, that the government itself is against her?! This is awful. The judge needs to get thrown out on his ass.

  51. says

    Oh, but we can’t assume that conservatism is just a bunch of privilege and ivory towers…blech.

    I see no difference between this and the fucker on the A+ forums who keeps bloviating on about “stability” and who constructed a fairy-tale history as a response to my pointing out that argument is simply “…makes the trains run on time”.

    To these fuckers, their little trains carrying all the cisnormative binary-gender boxcars running on time are more important than the people riding them. Which is par for the course, since said fuckers stuff the riders into the boxcars by force.

  52. says

    Sounds an easy appeal – 1) Where in the law does it state that name changes are restricted by sex; 2) Where in the law does it define which names match to which sex?

    Perhaps the first requester should have tried changing their name from Steve to Stevie and fused the judge’s mind as he tried to reject it as feminine ;-)

  53. natashayar-routh says

    Well that was nicely triggering. The assertion that she was trying to commit fraud by changing her name is all too familiar. Trans people are accused of fraud and deception all the time for simply being who we are. Those accusations are also used as excuses by or murderers. It used to be a successful defense strategy but that luckily seems to have changed. Still it’s chilling to see that same lie being repeated from the bench by a judge.

  54. says

    Proves yet again that non-christians cannot get a fair shake in the courts of the U.S., a fact that all of us having to appear in U.S. courts should trumpet to the skies.

  55. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    davidhart #12 is right about gender recognition certificates, and pointinline #59 is also right about the costs of legally cahnging your name by deed poll, but both actually overstate the difficulty of doing so. Most trans folk here don’t bother with a GRC, since very few people would be in a position to legally demand sight of documents that might have their previous name and gender on them, and those that would (usually employers, sometimes law enforcement) are legally bound to protect the person from discrimination, and revealing their trans status without permission would fall foul of that. Anecdotally, I know a few trans folk who have used a deed poll to change their names, but more because it’s a psychological and social milestone in the process than because it’s legally necessary. You see, the law here states that, as long as you don’t do so to defraud, if you go by any name and are known by it regularly, it becomes your legal name. Easy as that.

  56. Gregory Greenwood says

    As noted upthread, this repugnant transphobic windbag has been taking lessons from the discovery institute. He knows he can’t get away with saying outright what he obviously believes; that trans people are abominations against his god. So instead he tries to mangle science to provide a figleaf shaped rationalisation for his bigotry.

    It worries me that such a creature could even become a judge in the first place. He clearly doesn’t understand that the independence of the judiciary does not amount to carte blanche to use the law as the means to impose your own discriminatory attitudes upon others, and that a functional judiciary is independent from the church/temple/mosque/synagogue, as well as from the state.

    —————————————————————-

    Rev. BigDumbChimp @ 54;

    Fuck. iPad

    As soon as Apple invents the ‘iSex’ app, perhaps we can convince all the MRAs that they are better off with the sweet, sweet lovin’ of a cold piece of technology (that will never attempt to steal their oh-so precious seed, afterall), and maybe they will stop sleazing all over every woman they meet at, say, sceptical conferences…

  57. says

    “Genesis 1:27-28″
    If the Learned Judge had read on a bit (Gen 2:21 ff) he would have noted things like ‘took one of [Adam's] ribs…and made he* a woman’ who was to Adam ‘flesh of my flesh’.
     
    So it now appears that gawd created a being with the same DNA as Adam (probably called Evan pro tem) and changed his sex (and, I guess, its name to Eve) so Adam could bonk her in the Biblically approved manner.
     
    So the Bible clearly supports sex change (gawd was apparently better at it than we are, as you’d expect from an omnipotent being)
     
    BTW, there is no record of them actually getting married he’s (sorry she’s, it’s so hard to keep it all straight) just referred to as Adams wife after gawd has ‘brought her unto him’, which seems to me a bit slave-marketish.

    _____________

    *gawd not the rib in question.

  58. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    And how might this make the victim in all of this feel? What message does that send, that the government itself is against her?!

    Yeah, the first victim of this judge was 62. While the 2nd was in her later 20s (29 I believe), the odds that both of these people thought that government was on their side before this was rather F’n low.

    If you don’t get that (and I’m not saying that in an accusatory way), you really need to read some more about the experiences of trans people with gov’t in the US. Particularly frightening is the statement, expressed by command-level officers in at least SanFran and NY, though probably other places as well, that some very high percentage of MtF folk are “involved in prostitution”. In SF the quote was 80%. In NY it was 90%.

    Why is this so awful? It explains why merely be trans puts one at risk of arrest: an 80% chance that someone “has or will” commit a crime is literally probably cause for arrest. Thus officers are entitled to arrest any MtF person they choose at any time whatsoever with pretty much no chance at all of censure from higher-ups.

    This is before you start getting into the massive evidence that cops rape or sexually assault certain arrestees with alarming frequency. MtF folk are apparently among them. See Just Detention International, Human Rights Watch, and the ACLU for more.
    ====================================================

    On a quite related note: the article was horrific. Anyone who read the 2nd of the 2 pages now knows that the younger victim owns a purse. And a bra. What these have to do with judicial abuse of discretion I have no idea. That writer should get kicked to the curb by OK’s queer & trans community.
    =============================================================

  59. David Marjanović says

    What Ing said. The Bible verses are just icing on the shit-cake, the core argument itself is pretty much secular in nature, though pseudo-scientific.

    Well. It’s an attempt to find a pseudoscientific justification for an argument that ultimately comes from the Bible. Interestingly, the judge is even aware of that latter part.

    and there is, disappointingly, a religious exemption for Church of England clergy who are not required to marry two people one of whom has undergone this process

    Huh? Can you marry in a church instead of in a registrar’s office in England?

    So why in a secular country does this Judge get to cite Biblical scriptures in his decision?

    He needs to be sanctioned and his decision needs to be overturned. Outrageous.

    That goes without saying.

    the fact that first names are genderless in just about any legal system

    In Germany there’s a court ruling that everybody must have at least one gender-unambiguous given name.

    Many Turkish names are neutral, and AFAIK there’s no tradition at all of having more than one given name among Turks.

  60. doubtthat says

    @latsot

    Judges decide on name changes because people try to use that process to accomplish an endless list of not-so-galant aims.

    People try to change their name to escape creditors, they try to change their children’s names to hide them from the mother/father who doesn’t have residential custody…the list is endless. It goes through judges so that proper publications are made and anyone with a vested interest in the process can be alerted to what’s going on.

    This judge is just a fucking asshole. He’s basically accusing this woman of perpetrating fraud on god, which is just…unbelievable, but the necessity of a judicial review isn’t eliminated because this judge made a mockery of the process.

  61. LuminiferousEthan says

    Wow. This guy reminds me of Judge Whitey.

    “You’re honor, the asylum for criminally insane humans has been full ever since you ruled that being poor is a mental illness.”

    Scary to think these mock cartoon characters actually have real world counterparts.

  62. says

    The idea that a *judge* gets to decide whether you can change your name or not is already insane.

    To be fair in just about all other instances it’s basically admin work as their status of a civil clerk, much like how they can authorize marriage licenses or adoptions, it’s a duty that comes from their status as a legal authority. Most of the time it is just ensuring everyone who needs to know (creditors, utilities, SSNoffice, DMV, Postoffice etc etc) is aware of the change and that ID will be updated. Frankly there isn’t even supposed to be any “judging” involved in the process…

  63. says

    Two things: This happened to me, as well – even though I had the appropriate documentation. Luckily for me, a legal fund stepped in with a lawyer and a call to a friendly judge to scoot the guy off the list of presiding over name changes (because this sort of thing is actually illegal to deny when there’s no evidence of fraud).

    Secondly, no surgeon in the country will do SRS without a name-change or attempt at a gender change legally. It’s just too much of a risk for them, and part of the standards of care for transsexuals. Denying a name change puts them in a catch-22; unable to prove or live their intent, they cannot get surgery; without surgery they cannot progress further legally. It’s a stupid position to be in, only real experience can prove if the irreversible surgery is a legitimate option.

    I encountered trouble moving back into California as well, and repeatedly have had to petition my Representative in the Legislature to prod the DMV into giving me my ID I’d paid for. Who else needs a note from their doctor saying they are who they say they are?

  64. gravityisjustatheory says

    David Marjanović
    20 September 2012 at 9:26 am

    Huh? Can you marry in a church instead of in a registrar’s office in England?

    Er, yes. Is that really so surprising?