I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Judge Bill Graves, former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, has issued a ruling that is being appealed by the Oklahoma ACLU whose director is Ryan Kiesal, another former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
I know both these men well. They are both take-no-prisoners advocates for their decidedly oppositional positions in the culture wars. Judge Graves served in the Oklahoma House from 1978 to 2004 with a two-year hiatus to run for another office. Ryan Kiesel served from 2004 to 2008 when he left to move on with his career.
My husband likes to tease Judge Graves by calling him “Mainstream.” Judge Graves may be somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun, but he has a good sense of humor and doesn’t take offense, even when, as is not the case with my husband, offense is intended.
Ryan Kiesel, back when he was in office, was the vice chair of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Democratic Caucus. While he was in that position, he used to yell (and I mean YELL) at me several times a month, telling me to GET OUT of the Democratic Party, mainly for being pro life. He’s a decent guy, loves his wife and baby and is deeply sincere about his beliefs. He just has trouble understanding where he leaves off and other people with their varying ideas begin.
If I had a flat tire on the side of the road, either one of these two men would stop and help me. Or at least Ryan would stop and help me if he didn’t recognize that it was me.
It seems that Mainstream … er … Judge Graves had a case before him having something or other to do with a transvestite/transexual who wanted to change his/her name to something else because of a “transition from male to female.” According to a Daily Oklahoman news story, Judge Graves told this person “you can’t change what God gave you.” Whereupon, Ryan Kiesel and the Oklahoma ACLU rode in on their white horse and filed an appeal against Judge Graves.
Since I know all the players in this little drama (with the exception of the name-changing transvestite/transexual, who has my sympathy) it has the quality of a farcical playlet for me. I can’t stop laughing as I type this.
I don’t know if you’ll enjoy it as much as I do, but if you are interested, here’s a bit of the resulting news story for your fun and amazement.
The Oklahoman’s Watchdog Team: Looking out for you.
ACLU files appeal of Oklahoma judge’s order denying name change
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on Thursday appealed a judge’s decision that denied a name change.
By Nolan Clay | Published: September 28, 2012 1
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on Thursday appealed a judge’s
refusal to let an Oklahoma City man planning on a sex change to have a feminine name.
The ACLU filed the appeal at the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves on Aug. 30 refused to let James Dean Ingram, 29, of Oklahoma City, have the name Angela Renee Ingram.
Ingram told the judge in a petition the reason for the name change request was “transition from male to female.” Ingram said the judge stated, “You can’t change what God gave you.”
Ingram wants to have sex-change surgery. Ingram already dresses in women’s clothes, has a purse, is seeing a therapist and is taking hormones.
“A person’s name is a fundamental part of their identity, and it is indefensible for a judge to rob someone of their legal right choose their own name,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “Judge Graves’ persistent imposition of his own value system in place of the law and his denial of our client’s right to have the name of her choice is an injustice we are determined to right.”
Three advocacy groups, Oklahomans for Equality, Cimarron Alliance and The Equality Network, issued a news release Thursday strongly supporting the appeal. (Read more here.)