Transgender Rights Advocates Sue Over Driver's License Gender Marker Ban

Apr 23, 2024 at 08:03 pm by WGNS News


The ACLU of Tennessee, in collaboration with Holland & Associates PC, has initiated legal action against the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDSHS) over its implementation of a new rule prohibiting transgender individuals from changing the gender marker on their driver licenses.


The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a transgender woman, identified as "Jane Doe" to protect her safety, who sought to update her driver's license to accurately reflect her gender identity and appearance. However, TDSHS denied her request based solely on her transgender status. The ACLU reports the Department of Safety violated the woman's constitutional rights to privacy, free speech, equal protection, and procedural due process.

According to Lucas Cameron-Vaughn, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Tennessee, the TDSHS' enforcement of the new rule bypassed lawful procedures and constitutes a deliberate effort to erase transgender individuals from public life. Similarly, Maureen Truax Holland, an attorney at Holland & Associates PC, emphasized the discriminatory nature of the rule, which places transgender individuals at risk of harm and social stigma. The lawsuit argues that TDSHS' rule was implemented without adhering to the legally required procedures under the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act and was designed to discriminate against transgender driver's license holders like Ms. Doe.

The legal challenge also points out that despite the enactment of Public Chapter 486, signed into law by Governor Lee, which defined "sex" in Tennessee state code, TDSHS began enforcing its own rule related to the law, thereby infringing on Ms. Doe's constitutional rights.

The ACLU of Tennessee and Holland & Associates PC are seeking court intervention to block TDSHS from enforcing the discriminatory rule against Ms. Doe and ultimately to strike down the rule altogether, ensuring equal rights for transgender individuals in Tennessee.

Source: ACLU of TN

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