Politics

Wisconsin Supreme Court: No, You Can’t Use A Transgender Name Change To Duck Sex Offender Registry

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state’s ban on name changes for people on the sex offender registry still applied to a transgender offender seeking to adopt a female name, according to The Associated Press.

The sex offender, referred to only as “Ella” in court records, was six feet and five inches tall and over 300 pounds at fifteen years old when he was convicted of sexually assaulting a disabled 14-year-old boy, according to the AP. Seven years later, the offender now identifies as a transgender woman and is seeking to legally adopt a female name and dodge the sex offender registry.

The court ruled 4-3 to uphold lower court rulings declining the sex offender’s requests for a legal name change to no longer be required to register as a sex offender. Ella is about halfway through a 15-year registry requirement.

Wisconsin bans those on the sex offender registry from changing their names or using aliases that are not also listed on the registry, according to the AP. Ella’s lawyers argued that this prohibition violated the offender’s First Amendment rights and was a form of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited under the Eighth Amendment. (RELATED: Men Keep Committing Heinous Crimes, Then Identifying As Women After Being Arrested. The Media Is Playing Along)

“Requiring Ella to maintain a name that is inconsistent with her gender identity and forcing her to out herself every time she presents official documents exposes her to discrimination and abuse,” dissenting Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote, according to the AP.

The majority rejected these arguments, stating that Ella could dress and live as a woman without acquiring a legal name change, and determined that Ella did not have a First Amendment right to compel the state to help her with a name change, according to the AP.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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