Bush judge gives gender activists a victory

The LGBT community is celebrating a legal victory.

According to Breitbart, a federal court has ruled that Ohio must permit a resident, if desired, to change the biological sex listed on his or her state-issued birth certificate his or her preferred gender. 

The case

At issue was an Ohio policy that prevented the changing of one’s biological sex on one’s birth certificate. It appears that the policy was adopted by the state’s Department of Health in 2016.

A couple of years back, according to the Daily Caller, three transgender women and one man challenged this policy. The argument of the challengers was that the Ohio law is a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection provision. They testified that having a birth certificate that listed their biological sex instead of their gender preference exposed them to discrimination and violence in the workplace.

According to Mahoning Matters, the state of Ohio, on the other hand, “argued the rule was necessary to prevent fraud and keep a historically accurate record of its people.”

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio sided with the challengers, ruling that Ohio’s policy is unconstitutional.

The ruling

The judge who made the decision is Michael Watson. He was appointed to this federal court in October of 2004 by former President George W. Bush.

“The Court finds that Defendants’ proffered justifications are nothing more than thinly-veiled post-hoc rationales to deflect from the discriminatory impact of the Policy,” Watson wrote. “And post hoc rationales do not suffice under either strict or intermediate scrutiny.”

Activists groups are celebrating Watson’s decision. Lambda Legal, one of the groups that represented the challengers, put out a statement on the matter.

“Finally, transgender people from Ohio will be able to correct their birth certificates so that this necessary identity document is consistent with their gender identities,” it read. “Accurate birth certificates are essential. They are foundational to our ability to access a variety of benefits such as employment and housing, and to navigate the world freely and safely, as who we truly are.”

Looking forward

Now, according to Breitbart, Tennessee is the only remaining state that bans people from changing the biological sex listed on their birth certificate. It used to be Tennessee, Kansas, and Ohio.

Dave Yost, the attorney general of Ohio, is reported to be considering whether or not to appeal Watson’s decision.

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