ACLU sues Ohio to allow gender changes on birth certificates
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Four transgender individuals filed a lawsuit Thursday against Ohio saying the state won’t allow them to change the gender listing of their birth certificates to properly reflect their identities.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the plaintiffs, said the requirement prevents the three females and one male from obtaining a document essential to everyday living and subjects transgender people to discrimination and potential violence.
“Ohio’s categorical bar stands in sharp contrast to the approach of nearly all other states and the District of Columbia, which have established processes by which transgender people can correct the gender marker on their birth certificate,” according to the lawsuit.
The action further claims the birth certificate rule imposed by the Ohio Department of Health and state Office of Vital Statistics also is inconsistent with Ohio’s practice of permitting transgender people to correct gender markers on their driver’s licenses and state identification cards.
Plaintiffs in the case are Stacie Ray, Jane Doe and Ashley Breda, women whose birth certificates indicate their sex as male, and Basil Argento, a man whose birth certificate indicates his sex as female.
Their action comes just weeks after a federal judge ruled Idaho’s bar against changing one’s sex on a birth certificate violated equal protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
In her March 6 ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale said the rules by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare served no rational government purpose and put transgender people at risk by forcing them to disclose their status when they present identification documents.
Idaho had been among the few remaining states with policies or laws prohibiting such changes. Ohio, Kansas and Tennessee are the others.
Most states allow people to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity rather than the gender they were assigned at birth.