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Federal court blocks Idaho ban on changing transgender birth certificate sex
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Federal court blocks Idaho ban on changing transgender birth certificate sex

A federal court blocked Idaho’s ban on transgender individuals changing their sex on their birth certificates Friday.

The court reasoned that the ban violated a previous court order that prohibited any policy that prevents transgender individuals from changing their birth certificate sex. The court’s original order pertained to an executive agency rule that prohibited such birth certificate changes. The original order overruled the agency rule:

[Idaho Health and Welfare (IDHW)] Defendants and their officers, employees, and agents must begin
accepting applications made by transgender people to change the sex listed on their birth certificates on or before April 6, 2018; such applications must be reviewed and considered through a constitutionally-sound approval process; upon approval, any reissued birth certificate must not include record of amendment to the listed sex; and where a concurrent application for a name change is submitted by a transgender individual, any reissued birth certificate must not include record of the name change.

After this ruling, on March 30, 2020, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed a bill into law that prohibited individuals from changing the sex listed their birth certificate. The bill provided an exception within one year of birth to change sex on a birth certificate that “…incorrectly represents a material fact at the time of birth” or after a year of birth for a certificate with erroneous sex listed “only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.”

The court ruled that the previous injunction applied to the new bill:

[T]he Injunction prohibits IDHW from categorically denying applications from transgender people to change the sex listed on their birth certificates and requires IDHW to review and consider such applications through a meaningful and constitutionally-sound approval process irrespective of any policy, rule, or statute. The Injunction is permanent and applies to IDHW’s processing of applications to amend birth certificates both now and in the future.

The state of Idaho has yet to appeal the order.