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A Court Just Declared Alabama’s Transgender ID Law Unconstitutional



Rainbow pride flag at Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro at night, San Francisco (2013). Photo: TorboKHopper/Flickr

Alabama is one of the eight remaining U.S. states that require transgender people to undergo gender-affirmation surgery before they can get a state-issued identification that lists their correct gender identity. But a federal court just ruled that requirement as unconstitutional.

The court ruling stems from a 2018 case involving three transgender state residents who were denied drivers’ licenses reflecting their gender identities because they hadn’t had “complete surgery”, a chest augmentation and a genital surgery, both of which can be time-consuming, expensive and undesirable for some trans people.

“This policy makes it impossible for most transgender people in Alabama to obtain a license that they can use without sacrificing their privacy, safety, health [and] autonomy,” the American Civil Liberties Union wrote. The policy also puts trans people between a rock and a hard place because either they can undergo a costly and invasive set of surgeries, go without an ID altogether or get a license showing an incorrect gender, putting them at high risk of harassment and violence.

On January 15, the U.S. District Court for Middle Alabama ruled that the state’s driver’s license policy for trans people violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it discriminates based on sex, according to NBC News.

“By making the content of people’s driver licenses depend on the nature of their genitalia, the policy classifies by sex; under Equal Protection Clause doctrine, it is subject to an intermediate form of heightened scrutiny,” Senior Judge Myron Thompson wrote in her decision.

While the state tried to assert that its policy furthers a compelling government interest by helping provide “information related to physical identification” to police and ensuring that state IDs remain consistent with birth certificates, the court ruled that the policy places an unnecessary burden on trans individuals.

While the court’s decision requires to the state to give the three plaintiffs in the case IDs reflecting their chosen gender identities, the state attorney general has pledged to appeal the decision.

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‘Just Brutal’: Internet Celebrates Jon Ossoff Destroying GOP Incumbent ‘Crook’ Senator in Viral Debate Video



Democratic nominee for Senate Jon Ossoff destroyed his Georgia Republican incumbent opponent, Senator David Perdue, at Wednesday night’s debate. A clip of the video has gone viral, garnering 6 million views overnight.

The race is about as tight as it gets, with Perdue up in the polls by an average of less than one point, just .6%.

Ossoff ran for the House in a 2017 special election but lost in a close race by about 9000 votes. On Wednesday he appeared determined to make up for that.

“Well perhaps Senator Perdue would have been able to properly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic if you hadn’t been fending off multiple federal investigations for insider trading,” Ossoff says at the start of the clip.

“It’s not just that you’re a crook, Senator, it’s that you’re attacking the health of the people that you represent,” Ossoff charged.

“You did say COVID-19 was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no uptick in cases,” Ossoff continued. “All the while, you were looking after your own assets, and your own portfolio, and you did vote four times to end protections for pre-existing conditions.”

“Four times,” Ossoff repeated, battering Perdue with his own record.

“Can you look down the camera and tell the people of this state why you voted four times to allow insurance companies to deny us health coverage, because we may suffer from diabetes, or heart disease, or asthma, or have cancer in remission?” Ossoff demanded to know, as Perdue just stood by silently. “Why, Senator?”

Social media users cheered on Ossoff standing up for voters, especially those in need of care.



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