If people can both change their name, and also hide the fact they changed their name, they can sometimes avoid paying their debts. But a transgender-rights bill in Washington State would make that possible. It would let people change their name for reasons of “gender expression or identity,” and then “seal, or keep out of the public record,” the fact that they changed their name. This is, in many ways, a problem for society.
Jazz Shaw notes that this would allow debtors and some criminals to hide their pasts:
The proposal ignores the reason why those records are made public in the first place. Some people will attempt to change their names to escape their past, particularly if they have financial obligations that have gone unfulfilled. Others will try to bury their criminal records as much as possible. If you are a school administrator looking to hire a new teacher, you might check into the history of Bob Smith and not find any issues. But if Bob Johnson (his original name) has multiple convictions for child molestation, isn’t that the sort of thing you’d like to know?
It will be harder to collect past debts if the bill passes. As the Associated Press notes, only some criminals could get their name changes sealed under the bill: “The Washington bill would allow courts to unseal a name change file if law enforcement had reasonable suspicions [of a crime], and sex offenders and incarcerated people would still be ineligible for a sealed name change.”
But even massively indebted people would be eligible for a sealed name change if they are transgender.
That could be a big problem for banks and other lenders, who would find it harder to track down debtors, or garnish their paycheck, once their names are secretly changed.
There are already examples of self-described transgender people avoiding repaying their debts by changing their name and getting the name change sealed. How much worse is this going to look like in the future?
Jamie Shupe gives one example in “I was America’s first ‘nonbinary person.’ It was all a sham.” When he identified as a woman, a Pennsylvania judge allowed him to change his name and thus evade thousands of dollars in debts to his creditors:
Wanting to help a transgender person, she had not only changed my name, but at my request she also sealed the court order, allowing me to skip out on a ton of debt I owed because of a failed home purchase and begin my new life as a woman. Instead of merging my file, two of the three credit bureaus issued me a brand new line of credit.
Jamie Shupe is, in fact, male, as he notes in the Daily Signal. But he wanted in vain to be a woman, due to a condition known as “autogynophilia.” When his therapist expressed skepticism about whether he would actually benefit from trying to change his sex, he filed a “formal complaint” against her, and found a new therapist, who readily affirmed his new “identity as a woman.” But eventually he changed his mind and decided he was nonbinary, not female:
When the fantasy of being a woman came to an end, I asked two of my doctors to allow me to become nonbinary instead of female to bail me out. Both readily agreed. … To escape the delusion of having become a woman, I did something completely unprecedented in American history. In 2016, I convinced an Oregon judge to declare my sex to be nonbinary — neither male nor female.
As a result of this ruling, a “nonbinary option” now “exists in 11 states,” even though Shupe’s “sex change to nonbinary was a medical and scientific fraud.” The judge’s ruling did not reflect even rudimentary consideration of the evidence. As Shupe observes:
[T]he judge didn’t ask me a single question. Nor did this officer of the court demand to see any medical evidence alleging that I was born something magical. Within minutes, the judge just signed off on the court order.
I do not have any disorders of sexual development. All of my sexual confusion was in my head. I should have been treated. Instead, at every step, doctors, judges, and advocacy groups indulged my fiction.
The carnage that came from my court victory is just as precedent-setting as the decision itself. The judge’s order led to millions of taxpayer dollars being spent to put an X marker on driver’s licenses in 11 states so far. You can now become male, female, or nonbinary in all of them.
A sensible magistrate would have politely told me no and refused to sign such an outlandish legal request. “Gender is just a concept. Biological sex defines all of us,” that person would have said. … In January 2019, unable to advance the fraud for another single day, I reclaimed my male birth sex.
Courtesy of Liberty Unyielding ( Original article available here: “Legislation would let some transgender people avoid repaying their debts”)
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