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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 22, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 08
ACLU wins another jury verdict and a new case
Section One
ALL STORIES
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ACLU wins another jury verdict and a new case

by James D. Esseks - American Civil Liberties Union

Two quick updates to share today [received February 14]:

Jury awards Jesse Vroegh $120,000 for anti-trans discrimination
While working as a staff nurse at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, Jesse Vroegh transitioned to live as the man that he is. His supervisors barred him from using the men's restrooms and locker rooms and the state's health plan also excluded coverage for transition-related health care that Jesse's doctors said was necessary for him. [ACLU] helped Jesse sue the state under Iowa law. Yesterday, [February 13] a jury of his peers said that the state unlawfully discriminated against him and awarded him $100,000 because of the exclusion from restrooms and locker rooms and $20,000 for the denial of health care.

That's the second jury verdict for transgender plaintiffs we've gotten in the last five months (in October, a jury awarded two women a total of $780,000 for denying them transition-related health care). Those verdicts reflect the reality that the public is increasingly understanding - and empathizing with - the challenges that many transgender people face in our society. That's progress to celebrate.

Dashir Moore turned down for health care coverage while on the operating table
Dashir Moore needed to get chest surgery as part of his transition, so he called the benefits line for his insurance company and was told that the procedure was covered. Nevertheless, while the surgery was going on, the insurance company denied coverage because he is transgender, and Dashir learned about it afterwards. The bill was an impossible $30,000.

My colleague Ria Tabacco Mar fact-checks common myths about transition-related care in the following blog - https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/transgender-rights/fact-checking-common-myths-transition-related-care-trans-people - also reprinted below - about Dashir's experience and Dashir himself explains what happened to him in a YouTube video on that blog.

Thanks for your support, which makes all of this advocacy possible.

James D. Esseks is Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & HIV Project for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Courtesy of ACLU


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