Transgender nurse files lawsuit against Iowa Corrections

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Jesse Vroegh, left, is accusing the Iowa DOC of violating his rights because he is transgender.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former prison nurse says in a lawsuit that Iowa’s Department of Corrections discriminated against him because he is transgender.

Jesse Vroegh claims in a lawsuit filed Monday that the agency denied him use of the men’s restrooms and locker rooms at work. Corrections is also accused of denying Vroegh health care coverage for what the ACLU called “medically necessary surgery.”

Vroegh had filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission in July, 2016, alleging discrimination. The full complaint can be read here.

The American Civil Liberties of Iowa says the lawsuit, filed in Polk County District Court, is the first transgender rights lawsuit to be filed in the state since the Iowa Civil Rights Act was amended in 2007 to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

Vroegh now works for a private company. The ACLU declined to offer details about his departure.

Corrections didn’t immediately return a message left Monday.

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