ACLU sues Ohio to allow gender changes on birth certificates

ACLU sues Ohio to allow gender changes on birth certificates

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The American Civil Liberties Union is part of a lawsuit against Ohio that argues the state should change gender markers on birth certificates for transgender individuals.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Ohio also are part of the suit.

Ohio, Tennessee and Kansas are the only states that do not allow people to change the gender markers on their birth certificates.

"Ohio's policy deprives transgender people who were born in Ohio of a birth certificate that accurately reflects their gender identity," said Susan Becker, general counsel for the ACLU of Ohio.

People born in Ohio are able to change the gender marker on their driver's license, state identification, U.S. Passport and social security information.

The ACLU argues the state's restriction on birth certificates "forces transgender people to out themselves every time they need to present the document, which exposes them to a range of unfair and discriminatory treatment."

In a response to the complaint, faith-based nonprofit Citizens for Community Values argues changing the gender marker on a birth certificate is akin to falsifying official records.

"Having a medically accurate birth certificate is essential to protecting the health, safety and privacy rights of men, women and children," the organization says. "... A birth certificate that doesn't accurately reflect the biological realities of an individual becomes a meaningless, if not harmful document."

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

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