Judge Rules Idaho Cannot Deny Amended Birth Certificates to Men Who Identify as Women

BOISE, Idaho — A federal judge has ruled that the State of Idaho cannot legally decline to issue amended birth certificates to those who suffer from gender dysphoria, concluding that refusals violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“Defendants … violate the Equal Protection Clause by failing to provide an avenue for transgender people to amend the sex listed on their birth certificates,” wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale. “Plaintiffs have sufficiently demonstrated that they have suffered irreparable injury and harm that cannot be remedied by ordinary remedies at law.”

As previously reported, last July, Lambda Legal filed suit against the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) on behalf of two men who identify as women in an effort to force the state to change the men’s birth certificates. Both have had their name and sex changed on their driver’s licenses and social security records, and now would like to have their birth certificates amended as well.

Both have been turned down due to state policies.

“I just want a birth certificate that accurately reflects who I am,” one of the plaintiffs, only being identified as F.V., said in a statement after the legal challenge was filed. “I hope that Idaho will give me the dignity of deciding when complete strangers get to know deeply private information about my life. Like so many transgender people, I’ve been on the receiving end of harassment and outright violence. It costs Idaho nothing to correct this piece of paper and recognize me as the woman that I am.”

On Monday, Judge Dale sided with Lambda Legal and the complainants, issuing an injunction against any further denials, which she said had “no justification.”

“IDHW permits some classes of people, adoptive parents for instance, to make amendments to birth certificates without record of the amendment on the reissued certificate. IDHW has similar laws and policies related to the change of paternal information. These laws give certain people access to birth certificates that accurately reflect who they are, while denying transgender people, as a class, access to birth certificates that accurately reflect their gender identity,” she wrote.

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Dale gave the State the deadline of April 6 to begin accepting applications for amended birth certificates. The new certificates cannot include any indication that the person’s name and sex had been altered.

According to reports, Idaho officials conceded that there was “no rational basis” for declining to change the birth certificates, but told the court that it would create a new rule once it obtained an official order.

Read Dale’s opinion and order here.

Lambda Legal cheered the ruling, calling the State’s policy and practice of denying amended birth certificates to men who feel like women—and vice versa—“archaic” and dangerous,” and claimed that it forced “transgender Idahoans to go through life with inaccurate birth certificates.”

As previously reported, Scripture states that those who turn God’s creation “upside down” are like the clay telling the potter that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Romans 9:20 says, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, ‘Why hast thou made me thus?’”

Isaiah 29:16 also declares, “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay, for shall the work say of Him that made it, ‘He made me not?’ Or shall the thing framed say of Him that framed it, ‘He had no understanding?’”

Deuteronomy 22:5 further outlines, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

“Doth not even nature itself teach you that if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him?” 1 Corinthians 11:14 additionally notes.

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