FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | July 1, 2004
(San Francisco, CA, July 1, 2004) — The National Center for Lesbian Rights applauds the Transgender Law Center for securing a posthumous name change for Gwen Araujo. On June 23, 2004 Superior Court Commissioner Thomas Surh issued an order recognizing the change of name from Eddie Araujo, Jr. to Gwen Amber Rose Araujo. The order had been requested by Gwen's mother, Sylvia Guerrero, in a May 25th hearing.
"I'm elated for Gwen, my family, and our friends. This is something that all of us have been waiting too long for," said Sylvia. "It is one of my regrets that I didn't call my daughter Gwen more while she was alive. Having this order granted helps me to put that regret to rest."
"From the day we filed, we were confident that California law would support this petition and we are thankful that Commissioner Surh agreed," said Transgender Law Center Co-Director Christopher Daley, Sylvia's Attorney. "Hundreds of transgender people access the California Court System for official recognition of their name change every year. It is one more way that California, as a state, honors and supports the transgender people that live here."
"And now that the court has recognized her name, I'm calling on all print and broadcast media outlets to do the same," said Sylvia. "Using "Eddie Gwen Araujo" is no longer appropriate in any media coverage. I expect that all of you will, from this point forward, refer to my daughter as Gwen Amber Rose Araujo or simply Gwen Araujo."
Daley agreed, "Make no mistake, this court order is not a symbolic document. Due to last week's mistrial, Gwen's name and identity will once again be subject to unprincipled attacks from the same defense attorneys who have spent the last several months disrespecting her. It is my strong hope that as we move towards a retrial for their clients, each of these attorneys will give this order the respect it demands by referring to Gwen by her legal name."
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The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.