Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.
TLDEF, Garden State Equality Secure Removal of Name Change Publication Requirement from New Jersey Supreme Court
TLDEF with partners Garden State Equality and Lowenstein Sandler secure removal of name change publication requirement through an amended rule as decided by New Jersey Supreme Court. At a time when transgender people are experiencing increased rates of poverty and unemployment, court and publication fees can be insurmountable barriers to accessing affirming and life-saving identity documents. Removing these requirements makes the process and the courts more accessible.
A federal court struck down Alabama’s unconstitutional policy of explicitly requiring surgery before issuing transgender people an accurate driver’s license. TLDEF senior counsel Gabriel Arkles served as lead counsel on the matter.
TLDEF welcomes nationally-recognized transgender civil rights attorney, Gabriel Arkles, as Senior Counsel. Arkles joins TLDEF as a career activist, advocate, and law professor. Previously, Arkles was a Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU, Staff Attorney at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and in academia at the New York University School of Law and Northeastern School of Law.
Transgender people experience higher rates of discrimination and harassment in employment and in public accommodations which can be addressed and overcome through workplace diversity trainings for employees. Trump's Executive Order (EO) 13950 restricts diversity and inclusion trainings by threatening to cut federal grant funding to employers who provide such trainings. However, imposing viewpoint- or values-based restrictions as a condition to receive federal funding violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause. TLDEF submitted comments opposing EO 13950 for those reasons.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case which could threaten the Affordable Care Act and the nondiscrimination protections in Section 1557. If the ACA is ruled unconstitutional, transgender people who use public insurance could lose their only reliable source of health care.
We look forward to working with the incoming Biden-Harris Administration to repair the harm inflicted upon transgender people and so many others. But we face a long road ahead towards achieving the equity and justice that transgender people and our families nationwide have been denied. We remain at the ready to defend against attacks on transgender people and look forward to working with the new administration to advance a better future for our community.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a series of unique challenges that may have long-term impact on transgender people and their families. TLDEF has prepared a series of "Know Your Rights" guides for transgender and non-binary people who are confronted by COVID-19 and questions related to employment, housing, health care, identification, and accessing assistance from government agencies among other issues.
Are you interested in TLDEF's Name Change Project to find free help to change your name?
Updated on Jan 15, 2021