Home News Around the Region: Suit alleges transgender students at WI school forced to wear green wristbands

Around the Region: Suit alleges transgender students at WI school forced to wear green wristbands

Around the Region: Suit alleges transgender students at WI school forced to wear green wristbands


A lawsuit against a Wisconsin school district alleges that the school forced transgender students to wear green wristbands, the Wisconsin Gazette reports:

A transgender student filed a federal lawsuit alleging the Kenosha school district won’t let him use the boys’ restrooms and repeatedly uses his female birth name, violating federal anti-discrimination laws and the U.S. Constitution.
The Transgender Law Center and the civil rights law firm Relman, Dane and Colfax PLLC filed the lawsuit this week in Milwaukee against the Kenosha school district.
The filing states Ashton Whitaker, a 16-year-old student at Tremper High School, was designated a girl on his birth certificate but began identifying as a boy in middle school.
The lawsuit alleges the district has denied him access to boys’ restrooms and directed staff to monitor his restroom usage, forcing him and other transgender students to wear green wristbands to help staff recognize them.

A judge appointed by Gov. Scott Walker is under fire for alleged mistreatment of a gay couple trying to adopt, the Isthmus reports:

A former Dane County judge appointed by Gov. Scott Walker likened surrogacy to “human trafficking” and took highly unusual steps that added tens of thousands of dollars in costs for a gay couple seeking to add to their family.
Judge James Troupis’ actions, which included denying parental rights to the couple, were overturned by another Dane County judge and have also been appealed to the state Court of Appeals. And they arguably violated the ethical standards in place for members of the judiciary.
Troupis, who has since left the bench, in August 2015 appointed a Waukesha County law firm that employs an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage to assist in the case. That resulted in hefty additional legal fees for Jay Timmons and Rick Olson as they attempted to become the legal parents to their infant son, born to a surrogate in Wisconsin. And the couple says the judge wreaked emotional havoc on their family by keeping the child’s legal status in limbo for 10 months.

Campus Reform, an anti-LGBTQ and right-wing education blog, is going after a small Lutheran college for hosting a conference on LGBTQ aging issues:

Aging LGBT Iowans will gather in early August at Grand View University for their second annual senior citizens summit, ‘Gay & Gray in the Midwest.’
A Facebook event page has been set up for the event, which promises a great environment for the graying gay to discuss issues important to them.
“Imagine being an 80 year-old lesbian…in a farming community in southeast Iowa, looking for acceptance.”
“Focused around the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults and caregivers, the 2nd Annual LGBT Senior Summit will bring LGBT elders, allies, and advocates together with healthcare, housing, legal, and other service providers,” the event description states. “It will broaden the conversation about the needs of aging LGBT Iowans; make connections between individuals, communities, and resources; and help LGBT seniors understand their rights.”
The event will be held in the Grand View University Student Center, which the event description notes is wheelchair accessible. Grand View is a small liberal arts college in Des Moines, Iowa affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

A transgender nurse in the Iowa Department of Corrections has filed a complaint against the state over alleged discrimination, CBS2/FOX28 reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, along with the ACLU LGBT Project have filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission against the Iowa Department of Corrections on behalf of a transgender nurse.
The complaint says the Iowa Department of Corrections denied Jesse Vroegh use of the men’s restrooms and locker rooms. The complaint also says the agency denied Vroegh health care coverage for medically necessary treatment and procedures because he is transgender, even though the Iowa Department of Corrections provides coverage for similar procedures for non-transgender employees.
“In this country and in Iowa, everyone should be treated fairly in the workplace – especially when your employer is the State,” Vroegh said in a press release sent out Thursday by the ACLU of Iowa. “Rather than setting a good example for other Iowa employers, the State has denied me the use of gendered spaces as well as the health insurance coverage I need, simply because I am transgender. I hope my fight for fairness in the workplace will make a difference for the many other transgender people who have faced similar discrimination at work. “
The Iowa Civil Rights Act has required employers to provide all their employees access to single-sex spaces, such as restrooms and locker rooms, on the same basis since 2007. Employers must also provide to transgender employees the same benefits, such as healthcare, that they provide to employees who are not transgender.
CBS 2/Fox 28 News reached out to the Iowa Department of Corrections and is waiting to hear back.

WHO has more details including the complaint documents:

A nurse at the Iowa Womens Correctional Facility in Mitchellville says the state is discriminating against him as a transgender male.
34-year-old Jesse Kroegh says two years ago his bosses were asked to adopt policies dealing with transgender men and women. Only recently was Kroegh told it wouldn’t happen because “it’s too controversial.”
With help from the ACLU of Iowa, Kroegh is asking the Iowa Civil Rights Commission to act to force the state to allow him to use the mens’ restroom and shower facilities other male employees at the prison use.
Also, Kroegh says that chest surgery his doctors say is “medically necessary” to treat his gender dysphoria is being denied by the state’s health insurance carrier, Wellmark Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Iowa when similar surgery for non-transgender persons is paid for.

Previous article A queer guide to doing the 2016 Twin Cities Fringe Festival
Next article Around the Region: Iowa to get new LGBTQ publication
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.