Posts

Reform Judaism Welcomes Transgender Individuals

The Tampa Tribune recently reported that the Union for Reform Judaism (“URJ”) passed a resolution in support of transgender rights.  The resolution of the URJ, representing approximately 1.5 million American Jews, is the most wide-reaching indication of support for transgender equality.

The resolution did not mandate changes to Reform synagogues or require them to spend money on changes, though it did set suggested protocols on welcoming transgender and non-gender-conforming individuals.

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Do You Want A New Name?

With Pope Francis’ visit upon us and the recent celebration of the Jewish New Year, many Floridians are looking inward and have decided that they want to turn over a new leaf. For some, that may include a decision to adopt a new legal name.

Name Change

 

Fortunately, Florida has procedures that permit most adult residents to change their name.

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Video: What Do You Call A Transgender Person?

Caitlyn Jenner’s transition and reality TV show has raised awareness about transgender issues.  However, for many Floridians, there are still a lot of questions.  Some basic questions are: What do you call a transgender person? Which pronouns do you use?

PrideHealth, which is an organization out of Canada that “provides safe and accessible primary health care services for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ),” has produced a video to help answer these questions.

Though the video is directed to healthcare providers, it is helpful for legal services providers and anyone who does not want to alienate potential trans clientele.

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How to Change Your Legal Name in Florida

Some states are very restrictive in their requirements to change a person’s legal name.  Fortunately, Florida is relatively permissive, and Family Diplomacy has successfully represented dozens of clients to help get their name legally changed.

What follows is a step-by-step guide on how someone can request a change of name in Florida.

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Could Chelsea Manning Have Received A Legal Name Change in Florida?

A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that an army soldier convicted of leaking classified materials had changed her legal name from Bradley Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.  Ms. Manning’s name change has come after her public acknowledgment that she is transgender.

So could Chelsea Manning have been granted a name change in Florida?

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Athletes Have Changed Their Legal Name…And So Can You

There are many athletes who, for various reasons, have changed their legal names.

Basketball star Ron Artest changed his legal name to Metta World Peace to “inspire and bring youth together all around the world.”

Football player Chad Johnson became Chad Ochocinco in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, reflecting his jersey number, 85.

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Born Outside of Florida? You Can Still Get a Legal Name Change.

I recently had a conversation where a woman told me that she wanted to get a name change.  She had lived in Florida for the past 5 years, but she was born in New York City, and she was wondering if she would have to travel back to NYC to change her name and get her birth certificate amended.

I assured her that she could get the name change here in Florida.

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How Long does a Florida Legal Name Change Take?

One of the first questions I am always asked by potential clients who are seeking to change their legal name in Tampa Bay or elsewhere in Florida is how long it will take.

First, it depends on whether you retain an attorney who is experienced in name change proceedings.  I have helped countless Florida residents obtain a change of their legal name throughout the state, and I have addressed situations that could have caused the name change to be delayed by months.

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Florida Transgender Name Change

Transgender residents of Florida, just like all other residents, have the right to petition the court for change of a legal name.  As in every name change case, whether the petition will be granted is determined by the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Whether the petitioner has an ulterior or illegal motive in seeking the name change (such as attempting to avoid criminal prosecution, attempting to avoid a debt, or attempting to assume the identity of someone else).  Though there is not much case law on the matter, changing a name to reflect a transgender identity should not be considered an ulterior motive.

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