Woman Fired for Being Transgender

A Georgia transgender woman filed a lawsuit late in September because she was fired from her job as a legislative editor for the Georgia General Assembly because she announced her intent to transition from male to female. Vandy Beth Glen, formerly Glenn Morrison, filed her suit against the Georgia General Assembly in conjunction with Lambda Legal, on the grounds that the state violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Glenn told ABC News that though her immediate supervisor was supportive of her transition, when her plans to “present 24/7 as the woman she identifies with” were announced, she was fired by Georgia Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby. According to Glen, Brumby, who ranked above her immediate supervisor, said “people would think I was immoral. He told me I would make other people uncomfortable, just by being myself. He told me that my transition was unacceptable. And over and over, he told me it was inappropriate.”

Glen had been receiving treatment for “gender identity disorder,” which is recognized in the American Psychological Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.” The Southern Voice reported that during a deposition in the case Brumby maintained that he did not do anything wrong, stating “I think it would have been, I suppose, an unusual and notorious event. And I think when unusual and notorious events happen in the workplace it distracts the people in that workplace and takes away from the performance of their job duties.”

Federal Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, and disability, but not sexual orientation or gender identity. The case draws attention to the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 3017, a bill that would make discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people illegal. The Obama administration supports the bill.


ABC News Online 9/25/09; Southern Voice 10/8/09

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