WI: State Supreme Court to hear transgender sex offender registry case

[wsaw.com – 2/10/21]

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a Shawano County transgender woman who has been prohibited from changing her male name due to her listing on the state sex offender registry.

She argues that requiring her to register as a sex offender violates her First Amendment rights and forces her to identify herself as a male anytime she is required to present her legal name.

Read the full article


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Is there vindictive intent behind the prohibition against name change for registrants?
Wisconsin’s law since the inception of electronic sex offender registration 1995(Act 98) carried with it the prohibition against name change. The fact is the Registry has space on the page itself for aliases of individual offenders.
Therefore the prohibition against name change is unnecessary or restraint for restraint itself. So while the Rehnquist court’s decision in the Alaska,
” the regime…was without evidence of intended restraint, specifically”, pointed the its civil nature as described in the Acts preamble, the same facts were entirely not the case in WI.

Most of the time, gender identity change requires name change and so most do use, or go by, a name other than their given name at birth. I have no problem with that. IMO just one of many unconstitutional laws on the books, including many not associated with S.O.R.

I agree with @Tim

The system we use in Wisconsin has a built-in way to handle alias names, so why is it a problem at all for anyone to change their name whether for gender identity or any other reason.

If the fear is not being able to find the person when searching the database, I think that a simple coding solution would bring up all the registrations connected to the new name.

However, I wonder if a better case to challenge this would have been someone wishing to change his/her name due to a religious conversion or even a marriage since gender issues raise so many emotional hackles.

Government officials aren’t the brightest bulb in the box. No offense to dim or burned out bulbs.

An alias is one thing, but to outright change their name can be seen as a way to escape the legal matter which made them a PFR to begin with and no longer be tied to their past for employment denial, background checks, reasons for nosy neighbors to give grief, etc. Heaven forbid a judge sign off on a name change for someone to get ahead in life when they want to.

Here’s a more thorough article:


Note: the “m” after the https may be because it’s a mobile version from my phone. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Chicago Star Tribune

The prohibition against a Registrant changing his/her/their name is ridiculous and unsupportable!! The people who are most likely to use the Registry for the registries’ purported purpose of “public safety” (i.e., parents of young children) would look for geographically nearby offenders and/or physical appearances (“the man down the block who has a silver/white and a large tattoo on his neck”). I doubt those parents are remembering – or suggesting their young children remember – a bunch of names! 🙄
Just more Registry harassment & bullsh#t! 😡

So will WI also prohibit someone from changing his/her last name upon marrying? Will WI allow it for a heterosexual woman but prohibit it for a homosexual man? How does WI handle someone who has long gone by an alias that doesn’t match his/her birth certificate name? Would WI prohibit someone from starting to use one’s middle name instead of first name, or vice versa?