Last year, Squire Patton Boggs proudly kicked off a new pro bono partnership with Equality Ohio to assist transgender individuals with legal name and gender marker changes across the State of Ohio. Equality Ohio is a bipartisan LGBTQ+ advocacy and legal services organization with the mission of identifying and transforming systems and institutions so LGBTQ+ Ohioans can fully access legal and lived equality.
Aligned with this mission, the firm doubled down on its long-standing commitment to the development and delivery of legal services to our communities’ most vulnerable. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), more than one in four trans people have been assaulted, with this rate even higher for trans women and trans people of color.
Accurate and streamlined identity documents remain necessary for traveling, opening bank accounts, starting new jobs or enrolling children and teens in school. When gender markers are inconsistent on these documents, transgender people will face higher rates of employment and housing discrimination, denial of public benefits, and harassment or physical violence, according to NCTE. Yet, according to a National Transgender Discrimination Survey, only twenty-one percent (21%) of transgender people who have transitioned reported being able to update their identification documents with their new gender and thirty-three percent (33%) had yet to update any of their identification documents at all. A 2020 study found that legal name and gender marker changes are significantly associated with an improvement of mental health outcomes and a reduction in negative emotional response to gender-based mistreatment.
Through its partnership with Equality Ohio, Squire Patton Boggs attorneys help our clients navigate a complex web of legal requirements and serve as buffers between them and potentially unwelcoming court proceedings, securing successful outcomes so that our clients may live authentically.
“We are proud to partner with Equality Ohio to provide this critical service to the trans community, who are too often marginalized and, as a result, left vulnerable,” said partner Dan Berick, who coordinates this initiative with assistance from associate Natalie Vicchio in the firm’s Cleveland office. With anti-trans legislation and discrimination on the rise in Ohio and across the country, these and the firm’s other efforts serving the trans community are more important than ever.