Ohio to Allow Transgender People to Change Gender on Birth Certificates

The State of Ohio is set to become the 49th state to allow transgender people to change their gender on their official birth certificates, Breitbart reports.

The Ohio Department of Health has decided not to appeal a federal court ruling from December that ruled the state’s ban on gender changes in birth records is unconstitutional.

The court ruling issued last December came in response to a lawsuit brought by four transgender people seeking to change their birth records. According to the Breitbart report, Judge Michael Watson, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that the Buckeye State must allow for “corrections” on birth certificates.

According to the report, “Judge Watson cited a 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality that claimed that 36 percent of Ohio transgender people who showed IDs that did not match their chosen gender became a target of verbal harassment. This minority of transgender people also felt they had been denied benefits, services or were asked to leave places.”

“Today’s ruling affirms that the state must recognize the dignity and true identity of every transgender Ohioan,” said Elizabeth Bonham, staff attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, after the December ruling. “It is incredibly frustrating that our clients faced years of unlawful discrimination, but today we celebrate this victory as an acknowledgment to their commitment to justice.”

According to the Cincinnati Inquirer, the ODH reported that it hopes to have the new rules in place by June 1.

Ohio and Tennessee were the last two states to prevent transgender people from making gender changes on their birth certificates.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Getty Images

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