Ohio Allowing Gender Changes on Birth Certificates

Ohio Allowing Gender Changes on Birth Certificates a symbol showing male, female, and transgender (Rex Features/AP)

By Jim Thomas | Tuesday, 27 April 2021 08:52 PM

Transgender people born in Ohio will soon be able to change the gender on their birth certificates to reflect the gender by which they identify, the Washington Examiner reported.

The Ohio Department of Health will not appeal a December court decision requiring the agency to accept requests from transgender people to reflect a gender different from the one assigned at birth, according to the Examiner.

The Department of Health is also "updating its communications on this issue to reflect compliance with the court's Dec. 16, 2020 order," that enjoined Ohio from enforcing its birth certificate policy and plans to have another method in place before June 1 allowing people to change the sex marker on their birth certificates.

Ohio's policy preventing transgender people from changing their birth certificates was discriminatory, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson ruled in December, saying "a blanket prohibition against transgender people changing their sex marker is unconstitutional."

"The Department of Health is working to implement the federal court order," Jason Blake, an attorney for the agency, told the Examiner, declining to comment further.

Judge Watson’s ruling followed a complaint, filed March 29, 2018, in which four transgender plaintiffs alleged the state's policy caused them professional, legal, and personal problems, as their birth certificates indicated genders different than other identifying documents such as driver's licenses.

The complaint also detailed the personal experiences of plaintiffs, including Stacie Ray, who is transgender. The state's policy "impedes her ability to function successfully as a woman in all aspects of her life, including any time when she presents her birth certificate to others," the complaint said, the Examiner reported.

"Presenting an identity document that identifies her as male is not only humiliating but also dangerous, putting her at risk of violence," the complaint argued.