I Want to Believe That Ogden Judge Noel Hyde is Not Bigoted

Just that Judge Hyde’s life experience is woefully lacking--and he is too proud to admit his inexperience and his cultural bias.

If the Judge knew Fountain Green's Angie Rice as I know her, he would never have humiliated her with his ruling--he would have another name for Angie--HERO!

Angie is a transgender woman, her driver license — along with health-insurance cards and a military ID — all list her name as Angie, but her gender says male. It's just the kind of experience Rice said she braces for every day. She asked the Judge to change her ID to female, an event that happens often in Utah--usually with little fanfare.

But Judge Hyde said no.

 

Maybe Hyde didn't know, or care, that Angie was the fourth generation in her family to attend the Air Force Academy, graduating in 1984. Or that she became a pilot, flying rescue helicopters for five years and later KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft; or that she flew special operations in three overseas conflicts.

 

Maybe the judge has never spent time with special-ed children. But Angie has. After her Air Force retirement, she moved on to spent the last decade teaching special-education classes at Roy Elementary School.

 

When Utah’s historic LGBT anti-discrimination law — which bans housing and employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people — passed, Angie finally had the legal protection to go public.

One of the first things she did was meet with the principal at her school. “We had a two-hour session in the principal’s office,” Angie recalls. “I did some crying. She did, too.”

Then she met with district administrators.

“The only thing I received from them was love and respect,” Angie says. “And that day I was branded with a title: first openly transgender teacher in the state of Utah.”

Jeff Stephens, superintendent for the Weber School District, says Angie’s transformation hasn’t been an issue — mostly, Stephens said, because Angie is “an outstanding teacher who has such an extraordinary influence.”

 In 1988, Rice was living in Northern Utah and met Sandi Rasband; they fell in love and have raised a family. Sandi is a much loved teacher for the blind. This, Judge, is a wonderful family. Maybe different from your experience--but none-the-less an iconic Utah family.

Angie and Sandi's son Jacob Rice will graduate from the Air Force Academy Class of 2020. Jacob received his nomination to the Air Force Academy from Senator Mike Lee and

Congressman Rob Bishop. He also received a Presidential Nomination from President Obama. Congressman Bishop also nominated Rice to attend West Point and the Naval Academy.

Two summers ago, Jacob attended American Legion Boys’ State and was selected to attend Boys’ Nation in Washington DC. While at Boys’ Nation, Rice was able to meet President Obama.

I wonder if you know, Judge, that this family, the Rice family, is dedicated to public service. I would be honored to have them as a part of my family.

In addition to Angie’s Air Force service, Jacob’s brother, Josh, is in the Air Force, stationed at Davis-Monthan near Tucson, AZ with his wife, Alieda. Josh has been deployed to the Middle East. Additionally, Jacob’s sister, Danielle, is a registered nurse, and lives in West Point, Utah.

 Your Honor, justice should be blind. Devoid of prejudice. You Sir, respectfully, have made a serious misjudgment for this family, for Utah and for America. Click here to Read the Tribune story by Jennifer Dobner http://www.sltrib.com/news/5470281-155/judge-refuses-to-let-two-utahns

Thanks to the Standard Examiner for some info on this story.