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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 26, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 21
Teen may proceed with gender transition without parental consent, Minnesota court rules
Section One
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Teen may proceed with gender transition without parental consent, Minnesota court rules

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A 17-year-old woman may proceed with her gender transition without interference from her mother, a Minnesota court has ruled.

The young woman, identified in court documents as EJK, identified as Gay at age 13 and later began to identify as a woman.

Her mother, who consistently referred to her with 'he' pronouns in her public statements and court filings, sued her to prevent her from going forward with her transition.

The mother, Anmarie Calgaro, also sued St. Louis County, Minn.; two nonprofit health care providers; the St. Louis School Board; the principal at her daughter's school; and the director of the county's Health and Human Services agency, all of whom helped her daughter transition.

Calgaro argued that her daughter's transition violated her parental rights. The mother also claimed that her daughter had been 'emancipated' - legally considered as an adult even though she was still underage - without parental consent, another violation of parental rights.

Calgaro was represented by the Thomas Moore Society, a conservative Catholic law group.

According to EJK, when she first came out as Gay, her mother and stepfather became verbally and physically abusive. She later moved in with her father, with Calgaro's consent.

Subsequently EJK moved to her grandmother's house, then lived with friends, before finding her own apartment. According to NBC News, she began gender transition in 2015.

'I was not pressured in any way by my providers to consent to this treatment,' she said in court documents.

NBC News reviewed the June 2015 emancipation document freeing EJK from parental supervision, and said it states that Calgaro did not want to have 'any contact' with her child, who had been living apart from Calgaro and was financially self-supporting for the prior six months.

EJK will turn 18 this summer, has already graduated high school, and has been accepted into a number of college nursing programs.

Judge Paul Magnuson concluded that none of the defendants can be held liable, as they are legally unable to declare EJK emancipated and 'did not act under color of state law.'

Minnesota, in fact, has no legal emancipation process. The state simply allows minors living apart from parents and taking care of their own finances to make their own medical decisions. The document seen by NBC was a letter stating that EJK was in that situation and was entitled to medical treatments to help her transition.

Calgaro's attorneys say they will appeal the ruling to the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals because the mother's 14th Amendment due process rights were violated by her daughter's transition.

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