This week read about a man being found guilty for the murder of Nikki Kuhnhausen in Washington, and a New Hampshire DMV changing its policy on gender.
Man Found Guilty in Murder of Trans Teen
More than two years after trans teen Nikki Kuhnhausen was reported missing in 2019, a jury in Vancouver has found 27-year-old David Bogdanov guilty of second-degree murder and malicious harassment.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Arnaud told KXL News, “This was an act of rage, not an act of self-defense. The defendant’s version of how it happened is not consistent with the evidence. Nikki died because he found out she was transgender.”
Activists say that Bogdanov’s claim of self-defense upon discovering that Kuhnhausen was transgender amounted to the same trans “panic defense” that was banned statewide in March 2020 with the passage of House Bill 1687 — The Nikki Kuhnhausen Act.
Organizers at Justice 4 Nikki wrote in a statement, “We came together to help each other heal and cope. While that healing will take a lifetime for some of us, this verdict, in its own way, offers a sense of closure.”
New Hampshire DMV Revises Gender Policy
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New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles has begun adhering to a law that allows individuals to update the gender marking on their state-issued documents, after a student at Granite State University, Rho, was told they must obtain a doctor’s approval before updating their gender to “X.”
Rho told GLAD, “As someone who is nonbinary, Indigenous and a person of color, I felt I had to stand up for all my identities. Acknowledging our name and identity is a human right. It’s a means of respecting one another.”
The law was passed in 2019 without any requirements for a doctor’s approval, and went into effect the following year. Attorney Andru Volinsky of 160 Law wrote in a statement, “Being asked for a signature from a medical provider didn’t make sense and added unnecessary stress to what should have been a straightforward process.”
Individuals seeking to change the gender marking on their ID can now do so without a doctor’s note through the DMV’s website or in person for a $3 fee.