ACLU files appeal of Oklahoma judge's order denying name change

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on Thursday appealed a judge's decision that denied a name change.
by Nolan Clay Published: September 28, 2012
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on Thursday appealed a judge's refusal to let an Oklahoma City man planning on a sex change to have a feminine name.

The ACLU filed the appeal at the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves on Aug. 30 refused to let James Dean Ingram, 29, of Oklahoma City, have the name Angela Renee Ingram.

Ingram told the judge in a petition the reason for the name change request was “transition from male to female.” Ingram said the judge stated, “You can't change what God gave you.”

Ingram wants to have sex-change surgery. Ingram already dresses in women's clothes, has a purse, is seeing a therapist and is taking hormones.

“A person's name is a fundamental part of their identity, and it is indefensible for a judge to rob someone of their legal right choose their own name,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “Judge Graves' persistent imposition of his own value system in place of the law and his denial of our client's right to have the name of her choice is an injustice we are determined to right.”

Three advocacy groups, Oklahomans for Equality, Cimarron Alliance and The Equality Network, issued a news release Thursday strongly supporting the appeal.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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