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Chelsea Manning, the Army private who was convicted of leaking government documents to WikiLeaks, has been allowed to legally change her name from Bradley Manning.
Leavenworth County District Judge David King held a hearing today to decide if Manning would be allowed to legally be considered a woman. There was no opposition to her petition and NBC News reports that the hearing lasted just a minute. Manning was not in attendance, but called it “an exciting day.”
King said that Manning was “entitled” to the change and has ordered that her birth certificate be changed. Her legal name will change from Bradley Edward Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.
In a statement posted on ChelseaManning.org and The Huffington Post, Manning wrote that he asked for the change “because it's a far better, richer, and more honest reflection of who I am and always have been: a woman named Chelsea.”
Manning said that her next battle will be to receive the proper health care treatment while in prison. “In August I requested that the military provide me with a treatment plan consistent with the recognized professional standards of care for trans health,” Manning wrote. “They quickly evaluated me and informed me that they had come up with a proposed treatment plan.”
Despite the change, Manning’s legal status will not change, the Army said. She was sentenced to 35 years for leaking over 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks and is serving the sentence at Fort Leavenworth.