Indiana appeals court allows two trans women to keep name changes private

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Indianapolis and the Indiana State Capitol. (Image by David Mark from Pixabay)

Indianapolis and the Indiana State Capitol. (Image by David Mark from Pixabay)

INDIANAPOLIS — An appeals court in Indiana has reversed decisions of county courts and ruled that two transgender women can keep the details of their name changes private. 

The Indianapolis Star reported that at least one woman had been refused service in her town and saw threatening social media posts from a neighbor. The other said making it public would put a target on her back.

From the Indianapolis Star:

“It’s dangerous,” said one of the women told IndyStar. “You never know how someone is going to react. There is a fear that the likelihood of a problem occurring kind of goes up.”

The women explained that they have legitimate reasons to be afraid and that they deserve privacy.

The judges, however, didn’t agree.

The courts in Hamilton County and Orange County, respectively, found the evidence presented by the women lacking. The judges’ denials would have made the name change proceedings public.

But a recent decision from the Indiana Court of Appeals stopped that from happening.

The appeals court reversed the denials in June and allows the women to keep their proceedings private. Bloomington attorney Megan Stuart said the court gave clear guidance that should remove uncertainty about how the trial courts should handled these types of cases. Stuart, who’s with Indiana Legal Services, represents the women.

“We are hopeful that these decision(s) will make it easier for transgender Hoosiers throughout the state to access the courts without having to jeopardize their safety,” she told IndyStar.

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