Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Finally, trans citizens are a "suspect class"

A transgender Occupy Wall Street activist who was handcuffed to a wall of a police precinct bathroom for seven hours has won the right to sue the City of New York for bias and discrimination.

This all dates back to Oct. 1, 2011 when Justin Adkins was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge during an Occupy Wall Street protest. Hundreds of others were also arrested that day.

At the 90th precinct in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (which is not exactly the center of progressive New York City) police initially placed Adkins in a holding cell with other men. Then they decided to move him to a chair next to a bathroom. According to Adkins the cops forced him to sit there for seven hours while his was handcuffed to a handrail on the wall.

Today U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff found that transgender people qualified as a "quasi-suspect class" entitled to a "more exacting standard of judicial review" for allegations of discrimination because of a history of persecution. This is the same determination that was made of gay people by the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor. This is an important ruling.

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