A transgender woman has filed a claim for damages with a state agency against the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in San Francisco after she says a DMV employee sent her a letter at home warning her she would “go to hell.” The woman’s complaint includes the claim that the employee did a similar thing in 2009 and should have been fired after that incident. The woman will seek damages for emotional distress and will ask the court to require the DMV to follow California’s privacy laws.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the 23-year-old software engineer went to the DMV to register her sex change from male to female. The woman believes that the DMV employee who handled her forms took note of her address and used it later to send her a letter. The same day the woman received the letter warning of hell, she also received DVDs from a fundamentalist church that contained the same warnings.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the same DMV employee sent a letter to a different transgender woman who tried to change her name in 2009 and told her that she would be sent to hell. The Transgender Law Center then led educational training sessions with DMV employees about discrimination based on sexual identity.
The woman’s lawyer says that the employee potentially criminally violated state privacy and civil rights laws by sharing the woman’s private information with his church. The DMV has not said whether they have terminated the employee based on the complaint because they say it is a personnel matter.
Transgender woman says DMV clerk warned of hell (SF Gate)