Press Room

November 17, 2004

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HRC Comments on Case of Transgender Woman Charged with Fraud

'The judge recognized the absurdity behind these discriminatory charges,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques made the following statement regarding a Leavenworth, Kan., Superior Court judge's dismissal yesterday of charges against Sandy Gast, a transgender woman arrested for identifying herself as female on her marriage license.

"The judge recognized the absurdity behind these discriminatory charges. The judge properly recognized that Ms. Gast intended no dishonesty by checking the box that truly corresponds with her gender identity.

"Unfortunately, the disrespectful and detrimental treatment Ms. Gast suffered at the hands of the state happens all too often to transgender people, as well as gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans. Until our country's justice system treats all GLBT people fairly, our work for equality will not be done.

"We laud Ms. Gast and her lawyer for their work on this important case. Our fight for fairness would be much harder fought without individuals like Ms. Gast bravely defending their rights."

Gast, a post-operative male-to-female transsexual, filled out a marriage license in April 2004 identifying herself as female. The Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office arrested Gast for violating a Kansas statute pertaining to false swearing. Although the crime was a minor infraction, Gast was arrested. Her bond was five times the amount of the maximum fine for her crime. The judge in the case ruled that Gast did not intend to falsify the document.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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