MILWAUKEE (AP) — Attorneys are suing Wisconsin and Illinois over laws that forbid transgender individuals from changing their names if they have certain criminal convictions.
Both lawsuits argue that the states are violating free speech rights and are preventing people from expressing how they identify themselves.READ MORE: Woodstock Woman's Car Gets Damaged, Then Insurance Company Refuses To Pay Because She Called Police 2 Hours Too Late
The lawsuits were filed Wednesday in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, and Cook County, Illinois. They say eight transgender women in Illinois and one transgender woman in Wisconsin face discrimination and ridicule because they’re forced to present IDs with names that don’t reflect how they identify themselves.READ MORE: Colin Powell, First Black Secretary Of State, Dies At 84 Of Complications From COVID-19
Thirteen states don’t require disclosure of criminal history for name changes. Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C., require criminal background checks, but don’t automatically bar name changes.
Illinois and Wisconsin are among nine states with more restrictive laws.MORE NEWS: Jubilant And Inspired Fans, Booming Businesses Near Wintrust Arena As Chicago Sky Win WNBA Championship
The lawsuit wants Illinois and Wisconsin to stop enforcing such laws.