After reading about Amber Yust’s awful DMV experience — where the transgender San Francisco woman received a letter from a DMV staffer calling her an “abomination” after trying to get her license renewed — Queerty commenter the crustybastard suggested, “Lawyer up.” She did. And she’s suing.
Yust, 23, merely wanted to change her official gender from “male” to “female,” a process that should be as straightforward as checking a box. For the most part it was; the DMV staffer raised no objections during the process. But later that day Yust received a letter from the employee, identified by her lawyers as Thomas Demartini, saying that being gay (not trans?) was “an abomination that leads to hell.” She also received a DVD, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, “from a fundamentalist church warning of eternal damnation for anyone ‘possessed by demons’ of homosexuality. The DMV employee’s letter had referred her to the church’s website as a source of ‘critical information for your salvation.’ What’s more, the DMV had kept the employee on in 2009 even after he refused to process another transgender woman’s name-change application, Yust said in a damage claim filed with the state, the precursor to a lawsuit.” That church is the Most Holy Family Monastery, and the package “included “a grisly leaflet showing hearts torn from bodies.”
And because the DMV employee used Yust’s personal information to contact her at home, Yust says not only was she scared, but her privacy was criminally violated. So far the DMV hasn’t responded to the suit, though two weeks after Yust received the letter a DMV administrator wrote her a letter of apology and said the incident would be a “learning experience for all employees.”
It certainly will be, when the DMV settles for an undisclosed amount.
[photo: SF Chronicle]