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Judge May Use ADA to Allow Men in Women’s Prisons

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A Democrat-appointed federal judge opened the door to allowing more males to be housed in women’s prisons Tuesday by ruling that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers people with gender dysphoria.

Kesha Williams, a biologically male former inmate who identifies as a transgender woman, sued several people associated with the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center in Virginia for allegedly violating the ADA in their decision to house Williams with men, according to court documents. Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, a Clinton appointee, sided with Williams and rejected a lower court’s dismissal of the initial lawsuit.

Candice Jackson, attorney and former assistant U.S. secretary of education for civil rights, told the Daily Caller News Foundation it was unclear how this decision would play out in practice, explaining that the ADA requires reasonable accommodations for disabilities, but not necessarily the accommodations an individual wants.

“Recognition of gender dysphoria as a disability under the ADA is not inherently problematic; depending on the severity of distress and how it manifests, objectively GD can be easily seen as a disability on par with any number of other conditions,” she told the DCNF.

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