Doe v. Holcomb (formerly Doe v. Pence)

A transgender man prohibited from changing his legal name because of his immigration classification is suing Indiana state officials. The lawsuit, filed by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) and Transgender Law Center on behalf of a 31-year-old Indiana resident, alleges that a 2010 state law requiring proof of citizenship to obtain a change of legal name is unconstitutional. The plaintiff, listed as “John Doe” in the complaint, was born in Mexico and raised in Indiana, where he moved with his family when he was six-years old. Although born and raised as a girl, he has lived his entire adult life as a man and is recognized as a male on all official U.S. documents and his Indiana state ID. However, he remains unable to change his legal name in Indiana because of the 2010 state law that precludes non-citizens, including legal residents, from petitioning the state for a change.

The suit alleges the citizenship provision of the Indiana law is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause that guarantees individuals will not be discriminated against based on their alienage. Additionally, it violates the First Amendment right to freedom of speech by compelling speech from the plaintiff that betrays and falsely communicates the core of who he is, according to the complaint.

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Complaint

Court Documents

Petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States

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Transgender Law Center and MALDEF file lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Mike Pence challenging discriminatory name-change law

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Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.

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