Judge sued over refusal to OK transgender teens’ new names

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CLEVELAND — The mothers of three transgender teens have sued an Ohio judge who refused to allow one of the teens to legally change his name from Heidi to Elliott.

The federal lawsuit naming Warren County Judge Joseph Kirby was filed Friday. Mothers of the other two teens say they fear Kirby will reject their sons’ name-change petitions.

The lawsuit says Kirby ruled in June that 15-year-old Elliott Whitaker couldn’t legally change his name because he’s a minor. The ruling has been appealed.

A second teen, 15-year-old James Shaul, has a hearing Aug. 14 seeking to change his name from Jenna. A 17-year-old referred to in the lawsuit as John Doe hasn’t yet filed a name-change petition.

Kirby’s bailiff said Friday the judge was out of town and unavailable for comment.

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