US: Military must stop calling Chelsea Manning a man, court rules

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A court has ordered the US Military to stop referring to prisoner Chelsea Manning as male.

Private Manning, who announced her transition to female in 2013, is currently imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth military prison after leaking details of classified documents via Wikileaks.

The whistleblower is currently suing for her right to transition behind bars, as the US Military has continued to refer to the data analyst by her former gender and former name and until recently blocked gender treatment.

Today, the US army court of criminal appeals instructed the military to begin either referring to her either by a feminine pronoun, or as “Private First Class Manning”.

It ruled: “Reference to appellant in all future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, e.g. Private First Class Manning or appellant, or employ a female pronoun.

Manning’s lawyer Nancy Hollander said: “This is an important victory for Chelsea, who has been mistreated by the government for years.

“Though only a small step in a long legal fight, my co-counsel, Vincent Ward, Captain Dave Hammond, and I are thrilled that Chelsea will be respected as the woman she is in all legal filings.”

Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union said: “The court rightly recognized that dignifying Chelsea’s womanhood is not the trivial matter that the government attempted to frame it as.

“This is an important development in Chelsea’s fight for adequate medical care for her gender dysphoria.

“That fight continues but at least the government can no longer attempt to erase Chelsea’s identity by referring to her as male in every legal filing.”