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Judge forced to reverse decision to block trans men’s name changes

Joseph McCormick January 21, 2017
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Two trans men in the US state of Georgia have been granted the right to legally change their name.

The two men, Andrew Normal Baumert and Rowan Elijah Feldhaus, were granted the right to change their name at appeal by the Georgia Court of Appeals on Friday.

The case was returned to Superior Court Judge David Roper in Columbia County.

Judge Roper was instructed that the names should be legally changed after he initially ruled to block the men’s request.

Baumert, 21, said: “It’s amazing… It’s an emotional day.”

The Georgia State University student who is studying a masters in chemistry had been “sad, upset and angry” when he was turned down originally by Roper.

After commiserating the original ruling he said he decided to do something about it.

Lambda Legal gave the men legal advice to appeal the decision.

“I’m beyond happy this is finally done, that there’s precedent over this, regardless of whether you’re trans or not,” said 25-year-old Feldhaus, who attends Augusta University.

“I hope it helps everybody.”

Judge Roper had originally said he thought the men were trying to commit fraud when they requested the name change.

“We weren’t trying to defraud anybody,” Feldhaus adds. “We were being our true selves.”

Beth Littrell, representing the men said: “It’s supported by sound reasoning that will help not only our clients but will help people throughout the state and likely beyond.

“It rejects the idea that a transgender person seeking to live his or her life authentically is somehow harming other people or committing a fraud.”

Related topics: Trans, US

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