Galbreath v. Oklahoma City (Oklahoma, USA)

In response to a call reporting a suspicious black man wearing high heels, police arrested Allen Galbreath for disorderly conduct.  Galbreath lived across the street and was in the park to exercise in women’s shoes while carrying a purse. The state subsequently dropped disorderly conduct charges.  Galbreath sued, claiming that his arrest occurred because his gender “expressions do not conform to traditional gender stereotypes or mainstream tastes.”

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U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) have introduced the Jury Access for Capable Citizens and Equality in Service Selection (ACCESS) Act of 2012 to prohibit attorneys from seeking to strike potential federal jurors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.   In May, Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ) introduced a similar bill, the Jury Non-Discrimination Act of 2012, in the House of Representatives.

People v. Olsen (California, USA)

Summary:  Evidence supports involuntary commitment of a transgender woman as a sexually violent predator; however, transgender woman has right to a hearing on whether his equal protection rights were violated in the application of the involuntary commitment process to him.

The State of California filed an amended petition to extend the commitment of William Karl Olsen under the Sexually Violent Predators Act after his commitment expired in October of 2008.  The petition stated that on October 5, 2000, Olsen was committed as a sexually violent predator to the state Department of Mental Health for two years, and since that date he “has been consistently committed to a new term as a Sexually Violent Predator.” The People asserted that Olsen “continues to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent predator in that he continues to have a current diagnosed mental disorder that makes him a danger to the health and safety of others in that it is likely that he will engage in sexually violent criminal behavior in the future.” The SVPA provides for the involuntary civil commitment for treatment and confinement of an individual who is found, by a unanimous jury verdict, and beyond a reasonable doubt , to be a sexually violent predator (“SVP”).  A jury found the allegation that Olsen was a sexually violent predator to be true. By order filed in February 2011, the trial court committed Olsen to the state Department of Mental Health for an indeterminate term.

The trial court found probable cause to believe that (1) Olsen had been convicted of a qualifying sexually violent offense against at least one victim; (2) he has a diagnosable mental disorder; (3) the disorder makes it likely that he will engage in sexually violent criminal conduct if released; and (4) the sexually violent criminal conduct will be predatory in nature. Thereafter, the case proceeded to a jury trial.

The jury trial yielded the following testimony.

At the age of five, Olsen was placed in foster care due to his mother’s health problems. He later graduated from high school and worked as a mechanic and truck driver. He also served in the Army in Vietnam. Olsen has been married twice and has an adult daughter. At the time of trial, Olsen was 61 years old.


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Victim Assistance (European Parliament)

On September 12, 2012, the European Parliament agreed on a directive that ensures victims assistance and protection on the basis of gender, gender identity or expression and sexual orientation.

It is the first time EU law mentions gender expression.

Gender identity is understood as someone’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth; Gender expression is the way someone expresses their gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms.  Both “gender identity” and “gender expression” are defined in the Yogyakarta Principles, see also Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and International Human Rights Law: Contextualising the Yogyakarta Principles.


European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights Announcement.

Ireland Adopts EU Law on Victims of Crime.