Transgender plaintiffs sue over ‘draconian’ requirement in new lawAt one time the Republicans were behind changing our birth certificate because they recognized that in order for us to be gainfully employed we needed to have documentation that matched our presentation but then it became politicized by the right-wing evangelical Christians Republicans.
Senate Bill 280 adds hurdles and expenses for Montanans who want to update their gender on birth certificates
Montana Free Press
By Mara Silvers
July 16, 2021
HELENA — A Billings woman and an anonymous Bozeman-born man are suing the state over a new law they say discriminates against transgender people who want to update the gender listed on their birth certificates.
Amelia Marquez, 27, and John Doe, 22, filed their lawsuit in Yellowstone County District Court on Friday. Both are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana.
The policy at issue, Senate Bill 280, was one of several passed during the recent legislative session that LGBTQ advocates strongly opposed because of the anticipated effect on transgender Montanans.
The law requires that a person obtain gender-affirming surgery and a court order before changing the gender designation on a birth certificate. The new law reverses a 2017 Department of Public Health and Human Services policy.
During the legislative session and in the complaint filed Friday, opponents said the policy will force transgender people to choose between pursuing an expensive major medical procedure or living with an identification document that incorrectly describes who they are.
Before the passage of SB 280, DPHHS required a person wishing to change the gender on their birth certificate to submit a form to the department or provide a government-issued form of identification that displays their accurate sex designation. A person could also use a court order attesting to a change in gender.In their legal arguments the ACLU said according to The Hill,
That policy, the lawsuit said, “functioned well for years without incident.” By reversing it, plaintiffs accused the state of imposing “a draconian medical requirement on transgender people that has no medical or other rational justification. [SB 280] reinstates an archaic understanding of transgender people and ignores modern medical treatment guidelines.”
The civil rights group argues that the law does not specify what amounts to "sufficient" evidence of gender-affirming surgery and does not described what surgeries would be required.Let’s face it the Republicans hate our guts and are using us to get their base out to vote and to get donations, they do care if they hurts us. They don’t care if we can’t find jobs. I can’t even say that they threw us under thee bus because we were never allowed on the bus in the first place.
The ACLU also argues in its lawsuit that the new law "invades the privacy of transgender Montanans." They also allege that the Montana state legislature did not provide any "legitimate public purpose for the Act, and none exists."
"An individual's gender identity and medical treatment are intensely personal and private. The Act requires public review of a person's gender identity and medical treatment in order to amend an important government document," the suit states.
"The Act's sole purpose is to intentionally burden a transgender person's ability to correct their birth-certificate sex designation to confirm with their gender," the ACLU argues, adding that it "requires individuals, including Plaintiffs, to spend a significant amount of money to retain an attorney and attend court proceedings."