The ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young issued the following statement regarding the death of Rowan Feldhaus, who passed away due to complications from surgery:
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Rowan Feldhaus, whose courageous fight to change his name advanced the rights of all transgender Georgians. The ACLU of Georgia was proud to stand with Rowan in the courts, and will continue to honor his legacy by combating discrimination and defending the rights of all transgender people to be themselves.”
The ACLU filed an amicus brief in support of Feldhaus, a transgender student at Augusta University and Lambda Legal client who was denied a petition for a legal name change by a trial court in Columbia County.
In January, the Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court abused its discretion when it found that a transgender person seeking a name change that matches their gender identity is committing a fraud on the public. According to the Court of Appeals, “There was no evidence before the trial court to authorize a conclusion that either [person seeking the name change] were acting with any improper motive.”