Chelsea Manning: Court Orders Army To Refer To Soldier As A Woman

Chelsea Manning’s gender remains a point of heated controversy. However, The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that Private First Class Manning shall be referred to using a “feminine pronoun” in “all future formal papers.”

In May 2010, Private First Class Bradley Edward Manning was arrested and charged with numerous offenses, including “aiding the enemy.” The charges stemmed from accusations that Manning published classified military documents via controversial website WikiLeaks.

In July 2013, Manning was convicted on 17 counts, including espionage and theft. The United States Army soldier was later sentenced to a maximum of 35 years in prison.

In August 2013, Private First Class Manning announced that she was changing her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. As reported by the Guardian, Manning said she knew she was female “since childhood” and was ready to make the physical transition.

As Manning was formally diagnosed with gender dysphoria, she will receive hormone therapy throughout her incarceration. She was also permitted to legally change her name. However, she is not allowed to undergo gender reassignment surgery prior to her release.

Despite the name change and hormone therapy treatment, some officials refused to recognize the soldier as a female. As a result, Chelsea Manning’s attorneys filed a formal request to force the Army to refer to Private First Class Manning as a woman.

As reported by the Nation, the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that Chelsea Manning shall be addressed by her legal name, or a feminine pronoun, in all future legal proceedings.

“Reference to appellant in all future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, e.g., Private First Class Manning or appellant, or employ a feminine pronoun.”

ACLU attorney Chase Strangio said the court’s decision is a victory in the battle for human rights. As reported by ABC News, he also said the ruling is “an important development in Chelsea’s fight for adequate medical care for her gender dysphoria.”

Chelsea Manning remains incarcerated at the United States Disciplinary Barracks. Although she was sentenced to a maximum of 35 years, she continues to fight for an early release.

[Images via Wikimedia and Wikipedia]