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Trans inmate convicted of murder files lawsuit

via Indiana Department of Corrections
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A transgender inmate serving a 55-year sentence for strangling their 11-month-old stepdaughter filed a civil lawsuit against their prison chaplain for not allowing them to wear a hijab, despite identifying as a Muslim woman.

The inmate, who goes by Autumn Cordellionè, alleged violations of religious rights and claimed discrimination.

“I informed him that I wear the hajib [sic] in order to cover my head and ears for modesty purposes, as I am an Islamic practicing transwoman,” Cordellionè said.

“I practice a diversity of faiths in order to custom tailor my spiritual beliefs to my spiritual needs,” Cordellionè said.

The lawsuit also mentioned previous legal action regarding sex reassignment surgery.

The ACLU is representing the inmate in the surgery-related lawsuit, arguing that denying the surgery is a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

“Male Islamic practitioners are allowed to wear their kufis across the facility, and are not restricted to their bed areas only,” the complaint stated.

“He should be aware, as Chaplain, the stigma and shame that is attributed to Islamic women when they go uncovered and without a hijab [sic],” Cordellionè wrote. “Women are viewed as whores, tempters of men, and adulterators; by Islamic society both in and out of prison. I have been shunned, made a social pariah, and amongst my own religious community.”

Indiana’s Attorney General opposed the surgery, citing concerns about taxpayer money and justice for the crime committed.

“The ACLU already gave this convicted murderer of an 11-month-old baby a voice when they tried to make taxpayers foot the bill for his ridiculous gender transition surgery request,” Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office stated.

“Our office didn’t let that happen because regular, law abiding Hoosiers want to see justice served — not a killer being catered to while serving time behind bars.”

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