NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four “transgendered” people have filed suit against the State of Tennessee in an effort to obtain a court order that would allow them to have their birth certificate changed to reflect their “gender identity.”
“For transgender people, the sex designation on their original birth certificate is inaccurate because they were assigned the incorrect sex at birth. Correcting the sex designation on their birth certificate is thus critically important for transgender people,” the lawsuit, filed by Lambda Legal on Thursday, reads.
“Possessing accurate identification documents that are consistent with a person’s gender identity — a person’s core internal sense of their own gender — is essential to their basic social and economic well-being.”
The complaint states that the four plaintiffs — three being men who identify as women and one being a woman who identifies as a man — have not been able to apply for amended birth certificates due to a prohibition in the Vital Records Act, which states, “[t]he sex of an individual shall not be changed on the original certificate of birth as a result of sex change surgery.”
They argue that since the State allows a person’s birth certificate to be changed following a legal adoption to reflect their new name, or when there is an error regarding a person’s sex, the allowance should also be made in regard to gender identity.
Tennessee allows residents who identify as transgender to change their driver’s license and state identification card, but not their birth certificate.
“The State of Tennessee’s refusal to respect a transgender person’s identity on the quintessential identity document — birth certificates — serves as a scarlet letter, a reminder that the State of Tennessee considers transgender persons to be second-class citizens, unworthy of recognition, equal dignity and respect,” the complaint asserts.
It alleges discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an infringement of the “fundamental right to autonomy,” and the usurpation of the freedom of speech under the First Amendment.
“The birth certificate policy violates the First Amendment rights of transgender people, including Plaintiffs, to refrain from speaking by forcing them to identify with a sex that was incorrectly assigned to them at birth and conflicts with who they are,” the suit contends.
It states that the policy rather compels them to “instead to endorse the government’s position as to their own gender, as well as on the meaning of sex generally, through the birth certificate they must show to others.”
“The gender marker listed on Plaintiffs’ birth certificates conveys the state’s message that sex is determined solely by the appearance of external genitals at the time of birth and never deviates from that — a message that is inconsistent with the medical and scientific understanding of sex and to which each Plaintiff strongly objects,” the filing claims.
The four are seeking a permanent injunction and an order that the State allow the plaintiffs to apply for an amended birth certificate. Out of the four born in Tennessee, only one is currently a resident of the state.
As previously reported, while some view transgenderism as a medical condition, Christians believe the matter as a spiritual issue — one that stems from the same predicament all men everywhere face without Christ.
The Bible teaches that all are born with the Adamic sin nature, having various inherent inclinations that are contrary to the law of God, and being utterly incapable of changing themselves.
Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7 that men must be regenerated by the second birth, and be transformed from being in Adam to being a new creation in Christ, or they cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus saith unto him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again.’”
The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7 in describing the struggle with sin, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing, for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do. … For I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin that is in my members.”
“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” he asked. “I thank God [it is] through Jesus Christ our Lord.”