DMV worker faces lawsuit

Dec. 10, 2010 at 9:22 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A California Department of Motor Vehicles worker sent materials to the home of a woman, criticizing her sexuality, her lawyer said.

Amber Yust, a transgender woman, had gone to a DMV office in San Francisco to register her sex change from male to female. She says the employee who helped her, whom she identified as Thomas Demartini, said nothing to her at the time of the transaction, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

However, Yust says she subsequently got a letter at her home from Demartini telling her homosexual acts are "an abomination that leads to hell." Yust said she also received a package from a fundamentalist church containing a DVD warning those who are "possessed by demons" of homosexuality that they face eternal damnation, the newspaper said.

In a damage claim filed with the state, preliminary step in the filing of a lawsuit, Yust alleged the DMV retained Demartini on its payroll following an incident in 2009 in which he refused to process a name-change application for another transgender woman.

Yust, 23, told the Chronicle she feels "really vulnerable." She said it is "scary that someone who's part of a government agency is able to take my personal information and get in touch with me." Yust's lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said it is a violation of state privacy and civil rights law to disclose personal information from DMV records, and could result in criminal prosecution.

A DMV spokesman declined to comment on Yust's complaint or to say whether Demartini has been subjected to disciplinary action because "it's a personnel matter."

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