Impact Litigation

Precedent-Setting Lawsuits

We also work on precedent-setting lawsuits to strengthen the rights of all people against discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, or intersex condition.

  • Our January 2003 victory in Jean Doe v. Bell established that discrimination against transgender youth in the New York foster care system is illegal and that transgender youth in foster care have the right to dress in clothing appropriate to their gender identity.
  • In December 2003, our victory in Matter of Guido established that transgender name change applicants cannot be held to a higher evidentiary standard than non-transgender applicants. The Guido decision made the front page of the New York Law Journal and culminated in SRLP providing transgender awareness training to New York Civil Court Judges.
  • Another major victory in 2003 reversed a family court order that denied our client the ability to visit her children while being open about her gender identity.
  • In 2006, we settled Rodriguez v. Johnson, a case in which a transgender girl in juvenile detention was denied doctor-prescribed hormone therapy, placed in boys’ facilities, and disciplined for expressions of femininity.  The settlement resulted in monetary compensation for our client and ongoing committments from the agency, Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).  Since then OCFS has changed its policies for the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in detention.