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Georgia Judge Overruled After Saying Transgender Name Changes Are ‘Fraud’

Transgender Name Change Georgia Appeals Court
Sarah Barker/Flickr

What’s in a name? No, seriously.

A Georgia appeals court has struck down a ruling by a superior judge that called name changes by transgender people "a type of fraud."

The Georgia Court of Appeals told Superior Court Judge J. David Roper Friday that he abused his authority by denying two transgender men from legally changing their names.

In mid-2016, Roper denied name changes for Rowan Elijah Feldhaus and Andrew Norman Baumert, who were both named Rebecca Elizabeth and Delphine Renee at birth.

Roper only accepted the name "Rowan," saying that gender-neutral names would be acceptable. Otherwise, the name changes would confuse the public and amount to "a type of fraud."

The appeals court has sent the cases back to Roper and ordered the name changes to go through.

For transgender people, legal name changes can be an important part of the transition process and ease the still difficult battle of switching over other identifying documents, like passports. Thankfully, recent conservative efforts to resist name changes for transgender people has largely fallen flat.

Related: Indiana Republican Lawmaker Sweeps Aside Anti-LGBT Bill

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