Idaho to allow birth certificate gender changes, says judge

A judge in Idaho has ruled in favor of allowing transgender people to change the sex indicated on their birth certificates. U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale emphasized on Monday that refusing such a request from individuals with gender dysphoria would be in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in the Constitution.

(REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)Transgender birth certificate in Idaho may now be amended to reflect gender change.

The judge ordered the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to begin accepting requests for birth certificate gender changes by April 6. Dale also ruled that reissues should not have any record of gender change. Currently, Idaho's laws state that any altered birth certificate, for whatever reason, needs to be marked as "amended."

The ruling came after two transgender people born in Idaho sued the state in 2017. These individuals had problems presenting legal credentials in banks, grocery stores or government offices because these did not reflect the gender they identified with, and thus they were subjected to ridicule, hostility and harassment. They also could not change the gender on their IDs because this required presenting a birth certificate.

"I just want a birth certificate that accurately reflects who I am," F.V., one of the persons who sued the state, said. "I hope that Idaho will give me the dignity of deciding when complete strangers get to know deeply private information about my life."

Dale stated that IDHW had specific laws on birth certificate changes in cases of adoption or paternal identity. These laws provide a true reflection of the individuals seeking alterations to their birth certificates but the same right has been denied to transgender people.

Before Dale's ruling, Idaho was one of four states in America that did not allow birth certificate gender changes. Kansas, Ohio and Tennessee still have the ban imposed.

Meanwhile, the state's Attorney General's office have yet to comment on Dale's ruling but Idaho officials are planning to create new rules regarding birth certificate gender changes once the official court order has been released.