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Judge: U.S. Constitution Says State Can’t Deny Transgender Request To Change Birth Certificate

A federal judge in Idaho has ruled that a state agency there cannot simply reject a request from a person who seeks to change the biological sex noted on a birth certificate.

The case came about when two transgender people sought to change the sex on their birth certificate from their biological sex to the gender they currently identify with.

The Idaho Department of Heath and Welfare, which controls birth certificates in the state, denied the requests, saying that state law allows changes in birth certificates only when a mistake has been made, not when someone merely wants a change.

But a federal judge has ruled that the policy impermissibly discriminates against transgender people because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal constitution, which prohibits a state from denying “equal protection of the laws” to anyone subject to the jurisdiction of the state.

“A rule providing an avenue to obtain a birth certificate with a listed sex that aligns with an individual’s gender identity promotes the health, well-being, and safety of transgender people without impacting the rights of others,” the judge ruled, according to the Idaho Statesman.

The judge also ruled that the altered birth certificates must not include any record of the change, according to the Statesman.



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