TransOhio Supports Lawsuit by ACLU and Lambda Legal on Birth Certificate Issue

For Immediate Release: March 29, 2018 – 12pm

 

TRANSOHIO, Melissa M. Alexander and James Knapp, Co- Chairs, melissa@transhio.org  and

james@transohio.org  

 

Advocates for Transgender Equality Filed a Lawsuit to Challenge Ohio’s Birth Certificate Policy

 

COLUMBUS— Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal announced a lawsuit  challenging Ohio’s refusal to allow transgender individuals to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates, for any reason, at any time.

 

Melissa Alexander, Co- Chair of TransOhio stated “We have been advocating for changes in this archaic policy with the Ohio Department of Health for nearly a decade. They have been supplied with many sample policies utilized by other states. Despite extensive efforts, Ohio continues its policy of denying individuals the right to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates. Accordingly, TransOhio fully supports this legal action undertaken by the ACLU and Lambda Legal.”

 

Ohio is just one of three states, the others being Tennessee and Kansas, to have this extremely outdated policy. A similar policy in Idaho was recently struck down by a federal judge.

 

James Knapp, Co- Chair of TransOhio stated “The Ohio Department of Health has been behaving unconstitutionally by refusing to comply with out of state court orders, as well as refusing to correct the birth certificates of transgender people, only. Transgender people have a right to proper identification documents, and that includes birth certificates that are updated to reflect the individual’s correct gender.”

 

The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.  TransOhio works in coalition with the ACLU of Ohio to protect and expand LGBTQ rights.  The suit follows years of attempted negotiation by TransOhio, the ACLU, HRC, and Equality Ohio on trying to resolve this issue administratively.