Transgender Woman Wins $55,000 Settlement
August 16, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 16 (UPI) — A transgender woman who got a letter from a California motor vehicles clerk saying homosexual acts would lead to hell won a $55,000 settlement, her lawyers say.
Amber Yust, 23, got the letter saying homosexual acts were “an abomination that leads to hell” after going to the Department of Motor Vehicles in San Francisco to report her sex change, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Yust will receive $40,000 from the state and $15,000 from Department of Motor Vehicles clerk Thomas Demartini, who quit his job in December after being suspended with pay, Yust’s lawyers said.
“This suit promotes the privacy rights of all Californians by ensuring that confidential information retained by our government stays confidential,” said attorney Christopher Dolan, who filed the suit in San Francisco Superior Court in December.
Yust, a software engineer, went to the DMV office in October to record her new name and gender on her driver’s license and said Demartini did not express any objection at the time.
But she said she got a letter from him four days later warning of eternal damnation and referring her to the Web site of a fundamentalist church, the Most Holy Family Monastery, and a DVD from the church the same day warning of hell for homosexuality.
The lawsuit charged the DMV violated Yust’s privacy and civil rights by disclosing personal information.
The department agreed to have staff trained in transgender sensitivity, the Chronicle said.