The Department of Corrections Moves to Dismiss Claims of Discrimination
Gender Justice Legal Director Jess Braverman leads arguments to ensure the state agency that placed a transgender woman in a male incarceration facility is held accountable for discrimination.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2022
Gabbi Pierce, Communications Manager
Today, Gender Justice appeared in a court hearing on behalf of our client, Christina Lusk, to oppose a motion to dismiss our lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) for its discriminatory treatment of Ms. Lusk. Ms. Lusk, a transgender woman, is currently incarcerated in DOC custody and is being housed in a men’s facility, despite being medically, legally, and socially recognized as female. As a result, she has been subjected to harassment, misgendering and abuse.
In today’s hearing, DOC argued that our lawsuit should be dismissed for a variety of reasons, including that DOC’s mistreatment of Ms. Lusk—such as denying her medically necessary gender-affirming surgery, referring to her by the wrong name and pronouns and making her refer to herself that way as well, forcing her to wear men’s underwear, and more—is protected by official immunity and does not violate either the Minnesota Human Rights Act or the Minnesota Constitution. Gender Justice Legal Director Jess Braverman rebutted these claims, pointing out that, as a transgender person, Ms. Lusk is a member of a protected class and that the doctrine of official immunity does not give state actors such as DOC free reign to engage in blatant discrimination and mistreatment of transgender inmates like Ms. Lusk.
We are confident that we will prevail in our opposition to DOC’s motion to dismiss and that our case on behalf of Ms. Lusk will move forward to trial. We won’t stop fighting until everyone in government custody is protected from violence and treated with respect, dignity and compassion.