(WGHP) — A court has issued a ruling that transgender North Carolinians can be given birth certificates that match their gender identity without requiring to undergo surgery.
The judgment was issued by a federal court after a lawsuit, Campos vs. Cohen, was filed by Lambda Legal, a national organization that represents the civil and legal interests of LGBTQ Americans.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and other government organizations must provide accurate birth certificates that are consistent with their gender identity, without requiring gender-affirming surgery.
The judgment sets forth the process for North Carolinians to correct the sex designation on their birth certificates. After the ruling, transgender people born in North Carolina may correct the sex designation on their birth certificates.
In order to make the change to their birth certificate, a person has to submit a sworn statement, accompanied by 1) a passport; 2) a state-issued ID, such a driver’s license; or 3) certification issued by a licensed healthcare professional, social worker or case manager in order to confirm their gender identity.
This lawsuit was filed on behalf of Lillith Campos and two teenagers, identified as C.B. and M.D. The three North Carolinians were unable to update their birth certificates because North Carolina previously required transgender people to have gotten surgery before a birth certificate could be changed.
“According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, almost one-third of transgender individuals who showed an identity document with a name or gender marker that conflicted with their perceived gender were harassed, denied benefits or services, discriminated against, or assaulted,” Lambda Legal wrote in a press release celebrating the legal win.
“It was outrageous and dehumanizing that I was denied a birth certificate just because I didn’t have surgery. We should all agree that everyone deserves accurate and accessible identity documents that allow us to go through life and run errands with safety, dignity and respect,” Campos said.
“We are gratified by North Carolina state officials’ agreement to reverse North Carolina’s policy prohibiting so many transgender people born in North Carolina from having accurate birth certificates,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, counsel at Lambda Legal.
Lambda Legal has challenged restrictions on transgender people’s ability to obtain birth certificates in Idaho, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Puerto Rico. Challenges to Tennessee’s and Oklahoma’s policies are currently pending in federal courts in those states.