I love the law when it accomplishes justice. Amber Yust went to her local Motor Vehicle Department to get a new license, and in the mail received, not her license, but a personal letter from the clerk saying that "homosexual acts" are "an abomination that leads to hell."
The letter referred her to the website of a fundamentalist church, the Most Holy Family Monastery. It's worth a look. According to this church, the Pope is an imposter, the Vatican is the Whore Of Babylon, and masturbation is a "mortal sin." Yust received a DVD from the church the same day as the letter.
Ms. Yust had requested that DMV change her name and sex on her license as part of her gender transition.
She will receive a $55,000 legal settlement, her lawyers said Monday; that's $40,000 from the state and $15,000 from Thomas Demartini, who was suspended with pay by the DMV shortly after the incident and quit his job in December.
The department also agreed to work with the Transgender Law Center on staff training.
I'm glad Ms. Yust was compensated and let them know they can't get away with that kind of behavior, for all of us who have to worry every time we ask for services at a government office or a business or a place of public accommodation. It might seem like $55,000 for getting a nasty letter and a free DVD is something you might be interested in signing up for, but I will tell you that it's no fun having to live with that kind of ridicule on a constant basis, and it can do strange things to you. People sometimes wonder why many trans people are so angry -- "is she always so angry?" I'll get asked by a well-meaning person. When I explain what it is like being either ignored or treated like a monster day in and day out, they sometimes get it. More often I get a blank stare from someone who can't imagine it, and so they can't understand, just kind of mumble something about special rights or playing the victim or whatever.
Thank you, Amber Yust, for standing up for all of our rights and letting them know they can't get away with it.