Transgender people sue Ohio to change gender on birth certificate News
Transgender people sue Ohio to change gender on birth certificate

Four transgender people filed a lawsuit [complaint] in the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Thursday against the Ohio Department of Health [official websites] and Office of Vital Statistics due to the plaintiffs’ inability to change their birth certificates to match their gender identity.

The lawsuit was filed through the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal [advocacy websites].

The lawsuit claims violations of the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as violations of the First Amendment right to free speech. Under the equal protection claim, the lawsuit argues that birth certificate policy discriminates against transgender people because the government is creating a classification based on sex and forces transgender people to be classified as a sex contrary to their gender identity. The lawsuit also argues that policy deprives “all transgender people, and only transgender people, who were born in Ohio of access to an accurate birth certificate that they can use without sacrificing their privacy, health, safety, dignity, and autonomy.”

The lawsuit claims that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is violated because the policy results in an involuntary disclosure of one’s transgender identity which violates their right to privacy and “plac[es] one’s personal safety and bodily integrity in jeopardy.”

The lawsuit claims that the First Amendment is violated because it violates the right to refrain from speaking. This is violated by not allowing transgender people to refrain from speaking because it forces them to “disclose their transgender status and to identify with a gender that conflicts with who they are. It also prevents transgender people from accurately expressing their gender.”

The lawsuit requests that the Birth Certificate Policy be rued unconstitutional and defendants be prevented from refusing to provide birth certificates that accurately reflect the sex that is consistent with the person’s gender identity.

The lawsuit is the latest in progressing transgender rights. In August two lawsuits were filed [JURIST report] challenging President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban. Trump revoked [JURIST report] the order earlier this month but instated a ban on transgender troops if they require surgery or significant medical treatment.