Ingham County Prosecutor adopts policy on gender identity

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- An Ingham County Prosecutor is adopting a policy on respecting gender identity.

Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon, along with the assistance of the non-profit organization Fair Michigan Foundation, a non-profit corporation working to end discrimination against persons based on sex, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, announced a policy on respecting gender identity.

The police requires employees in the prosecutor's office to treat transgender, intersex and gender-nonconforming individuals in a manner appropriate to the individual's gender identity, which may be different from the sex the individual was assigned at birth or listen on official identification documents, according to a press release from the Fair Michigan Foundation and the Ingham County prosecutor's office.

Regardless of appearance, the policy directs prosecutor office employees to classify an individual's gender identity in accordance with statements or requests that are made by the individual, such as if the individual asks the employee to use different pronouns, according to the release.

The policy states that employees will not refer to any person in a derogatory manner because of their gender identity or expression, according to the release.

“As we have seen in Wayne County, this policy should promote productive interactions between prosecutors and crime victims and witnesses who are transgender. When transgender people know that they will be respected and properly identified, they are more likely to cooperate with law enforcement investigations and prosecutions,” Fair Michigan President Alanna Maguire said.

“This policy is an important step in ensuring positive interactions with transgender individuals in Ingham County. Last March, we partnered with Fair Michigan to bring the Fair Michigan Justice Project to Ingham County. That program assists our law enforcement officers and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons. This policy reinforces our commitment to protecting members of the LGBTQ community in Ingham County," Prosecutor Siemon said.

The policy also states that employees will address transgender individuals by their chosen name, which might be different from the name listed on their government-issued identification, according to the release.

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