Sunday, December 04, 2016

Another Small Win For Us.

I am in a very blue mood today and this didn’t help even though it was a victory, it didn’t help because he should never have to appeal the judge in the first place.
Trans boy wins small victory in court as judge’s mental exam order is overruled
Democrat Missourians
By Max Londberg
December 1, 2016

A Cass County judge exceeded his authority by ordering a transgender boy undergo a mental examination before legally changing his name, according to an opinion issued this week by the Western District Court of Appeals.

Judge R. Michael Wagner presided over a change of name hearing in October 2015 involving a Belton transgender boy, who filed to change his name from Natalie to Nathan.

The boy is referred to as Nathan or N.N.H. in court documents.

The boy’s attorney, Blaine Elliott, cited 33 other cases in which Wagner presided over a name change request for a minor. In those 33 instances, Elliott wrote in a brief to the court of appeals, Wagner never ordered a mental evaluation. Elliott also pulled all change of name cases from 2009 through September at the 17th Judicial Circuit and found neither Wagner nor any other judge ever ordered a mental evaluation.

“(Nathan) is the only exception,” Elliott wrote in the brief. “Only when confronted with a minor who fails to conform to traditional gender stereotypes does (Wagner) seek to appoint a guardian ad litem or order a petitioner to undergo a mental evaluation. This is clear evidence of discrimination.”

Before Nathan’s hearing, Wagner asked for a guardian ad litem, or appointed guardian, in the case despite the fact that the boy’s mother was serving as his guardian and legal representative in court. The boy’s father is deceased, court documents show.

After the family refused Wagner’s request, the judge ordered the boy undergo a mental evaluation at the hearing, saying he had the child’s best interests in mind, according to court testimony
Why did the judge order a mental exam? Was it because of ignorance or was it because of bias? Why did he feel that the mother was competent to care for her child?

I am glad that he got overturned. But unfortunately this judge is not an isolated case, here in Connecticut a judge is refusing to use the legal name of a trans person and is using male pronouns. The trans person is afraid to object because it might make her case worst.

When you are in a marginalized community this is what we face every day, it doesn’t matter is you a trans, or black, or Latino, or undocumented you are afraid to complain because thing might get worst for you.

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