American Civil Liberties Union Sues the State of Alaska for Transgender Discrimination

American Civil Liberties Union Sues the State of Alaska for Transgender Discrimination

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A pilot identified to the media as K.L. was denied a driver’s license in the state of Alaska because she could not physically prove her gender upon request. Although she lived as a female for nearly two years, had legally changed her name to reflect her gender and had a passport in her female name, she had not yet undergone M-F surgery and, therefore, was not “allowed” to check the box marked “Female” on the driver’s license application.

On Monday, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a motion in Anchorage claiming that the decision to condemn K.L. for not completing physical transformation before obtaining a driver’s license was unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy.

“No one should have to disclose sensitive personal information or be forced to make major medical decisions in order to get an accurate driver’s license,” Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska, said in a news release.

According to the ACLU, the state had issued K.L. a license designating her sex as female but issued a cancellation order about a month later. The order, according to the lawsuit, said her license would be cancelled unless she replaced it with one listing her gender as male or provided proof from a doctor verifying “a surgical change was performed.”

“The surgery requirement not only violates Alaska’s laws, it demonstrates a profound lack of understanding about what it means to be transgender,” said John Knight, staff attorney with the ACLU. “The state cannot deny transgender people an accurate driver’s license based on an arbitrary and unconstitutional policy that clashes with accepted medical standards.”

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