WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A military prison psychologist is refusing to recommend that Chelsea Manning’s gender be officially changed to female in her Army employee-benefits file.
Lawyers for the transgender solider imprisoned for leaking classified information made the assertion in a federal court filing Monday in Washington.
The document says the chief of mental health at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, prison recently declined Manning’s request. Manning contends she has “achieved stability in her female gender.”
The document doesn’t say why psychologist Ellen Galloway declined the request.
Manning’s lawyers say an Army policy enabling soldiers to officially change their gender does not provide an avenue for Manning to do so unless she is released or receives transgender surgery.
Her lawsuit seeks a court order allowing Manning to wear her hair longer than two inches.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union and gay-rights groups lobbied President Barack Obama to commute the prison sentence of Manning.
The ACLU said the letter Monday co-signed by more than a dozen civil rights groups considers Manning’s 35-year sentence unprecedented.
Attorneys on behalf of Manning made a similar pitch last month for commutation.
Manning was arrested in 2010 and convicted in 2013 in military court of six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses for leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents, plus some battlefield video to WikiLeaks. At that point she was known as Bradley Manning.
She later filed a transgender prisoner rights lawsuit and has tried to commit suicide at least twice, citing her behind-bars treatment.