A group of eight Illinois transgender women with criminal records say a state law violates their First Amendment rights.
The law prohibits legal name changes on identification for at least 10 years after a criminal conviction.
Attorney Lark Mulligan, with the Transformative Justice Project says transgender women of color have suffered the consequences... including accusations of fraud and denial of public benefits:
“The issue here is when a transgender person is not allowed to change their legal name, they are forced to carry government-issued identification that inaccurately does not align with their true gender identity. Names carry gender connotation, and so when a transperson has an ID that doesn’t necessarily correlate with their actual gender identity, that ID can out them to anyone that sees that,” Mulligan said,
The women filed a federal lawsuit against several Cook County officials, including Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx, who has enforced the law. Her spokeswoman declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said his office has not been asked to intervene.