Montana to allow Trans people to change their gender on birth record

Health officials in Montana said they would comply with a judge's order to allow Trans people to change their birth certificates.

A Trans Pride flag. In Montana, Trans people are not allowed to change their birth certificates.
Image: Via Instagram - @sunderlanduni

On Monday, September 19, the state health department in Montana said it would comply with a judge’s ruling and allow Trans people to rectify their gender in birth records. The new development comes as a result of a lawsuit launched by two Trans women after the state introduced a new rule that violated their rights.

The new regulation introduced by health officials in Montana came into effect on September 10 and effectively prohibited Trans folk from changing their birth certificates to recognise their preferred gender. Following the introduction of the rule, two women sued the state and Judge Michael Moses issued a temporary injunction to stop health officials from enforcing the ban.

After the state refused to comply with the injunction, judge Moses released a written order saying that health officials’ reasonings for not complying were “demonstrably ridiculous”. He also commented that the state engaged “in needless legal gymnastics to attempt to rationalize their actions and their calculated violations of the order.”

He said there would be consequences if the state did not comply and he was considering motions for contempt. In case the health department is found in contempt of court, the court could require them to pay a fine, pay legal fees to the plaintiffs and also jail time for whoever is deemed responsible for the violations.

After this, Montana’s health department changed its position, issuing a statement on Monday saying that it would comply with the order “despite disagreeing with it”.

Alex Rate, an attorney with the ACLU of Montana, which represents the two Trans women who sued the state, commented on this latest development saying: “It’s unfortunate that it has taken two very clear court orders and many months to comply with the law”.

“But from the perspective of Transgender Montanans who are seeking to obtain accurate identity documents, today’s announcement is certainly progress,” Rate added.

In another district court in Montana, a judge also struck down the state’s law banning Trans athletes from competing in the women’s category in sports, deeming it unconstitutional. The law, introduced in 2021, was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.