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|Transgender editor returns to work at Ga. legislature|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|December 14, 2011 14:29|
Vandy Beth Glenn returned to work Friday as a legislative editor at the Georgia General Assembly, just days after the a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the state violated her constitutional rights when she was fired after informing her employer she was transitioning from male to female.
Greg Nevins, the Lambda Legal attorney representing Glenn, confirmed this week that she reported back to work on Friday, Dec. 9. The 11th Circuit handed down its 3-0 ruling in favor of Glenn on Dec. 6. The federal appeals court ruling upheld U.S. District Judge Richard Story's ruling that Glenn was wrongly fired based on sex discrimination. Oral arguments before the 11th Circuit were held on Dec. 1.
Glenn also confirmed she is back at work.
Although Glenn is back at work, the state still has time to ask for a rehearing from the full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals or take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, Nevins said.
The state has 21 days from the Dec. 6 ruling to ask the full 11th Circuit Court for a rehearing of the case and also has 90 days from the ruling to petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a spokesperson at the 11th Circuit Court.
After the Dec. 6 ruling, Glenn said returning to work was what her case was about.
“I never should have been fired in the first place,” she said. “This was a job I loved and I was good at it.”
Judge Rosemary Barkett wrote the unanimous ruling, stating, “The question here is whether discriminating against someone on the basis of his or her gender non-conformity constitutes sex-based discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause. …We hold that it does."
The ruling goes on to state, “All persons, whether transgender or not, are protected from discrimination on the basis of gender stereotype. For example, courts have held that plaintiffs cannot be discriminated against for wearing jewelry that was considered too effeminate, carrying a serving tray too gracefully, or taking too active a role in child-rearing.
“An individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender-nonconformity. Because these protections are afforded to everyone, they cannot be denied to a transgender individual,” the ruling states.
Glenn started working as a legislative editor for the Georgia General Assembly in 2005 as a man, Glenn Morrison. That same year she was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder.
When she informed her supervisors of her plans to transition from male to female, her boss, Sewell Brumby, legislative counsel at the time, fired her.
Brumby stated during court depositions that the thought of someone with male sexual organs in women’s clothing was “unsettling” to him, was “something I don’t like to think about,” and was something he viewed as “unnatural.” Brumby also freely admitted he thought Georgia legislators would think Glenn’s presence at the Capitol would be “immoral.”
Long legal battle
2005: Vandy Beth Glenn begins work as a legislative editor at the Georgia General Assembly as a man, Glenn Morrison. This same year, Glenn is diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder.
Top photo: Lambda Legal attorney Greg Nevins with Vandy Beth Glenn, who returned last week to her job as a legislative editor at the Georgia General Assembly. (by Dyana Bagby)
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