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June 13, 22

NEWS / Montana prohibits birth certificate sex changes


The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has issued an order that would effectively ban sex changes on birth certificates—even after an individual undergoes sex-change surgery. The state health department also changed its designation of the field from “gender” to “sex”, arguing that sex is different from gender on the grounds that it is an “immutable genetic fact, which is not changeable, even by surgery,” the department’s director Adam Meier was quoted by PBS as saying. The sex field can only be changed if an individual’s sex had been misidentified at birth or incorrectly printed due to a clerical error. The decision came a month after Judge Michael Moss ruled that a law that would have required individuals to undergo a “surgical procedure” before being allowed to change their gender on their birth certificates was too vague as it did not specify exactly what kind of procedure was required. As a result, the state went back to the process that had been adopted in 2017 according to which individuals had been allowed to change the gender indicated on their birth certificate by filing sworn affidavits. Democratic lawmakers, who are in the minority in both the state’s Senate and House of Representatives, expressed outrage at the health department’s decision calling it a “blatant abuse of power”. The decision puts Montana on the same list as Tennessee, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, as states that largely prohibit gender changes on birth certificates. About a dozen states require applicants to undergo surgical procedures to be able to change their gender on their birth certificates, while about half of US states and the District of Columbia do not require surgical intervention for gender changes on birth certificates. #birthcertificate #gender #transgender #legalization #document

 




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