The Trans community is defeating bigotry all over America, and we love to see it!
On June 30, the ACLU of Michigan commended Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for issuing an opinion that states that it is unconstitutional to require people born in Michigan to undergo surgery in order to change the gender on their birth certificate.
“As written, it is a tool of intolerance that treats one group of people different from the rest of us by requiring thousands of residents to undergo expensive and invasive medical procedures in order to amend their birth certificates to reflect their true identity,” Nessel wrote.
In March, the ACLU and its coalition partners sent a letter to the Attorney General, encouraging her to protect transgender people’s rights and declare this requirement unconstitutional. The letter followed a request by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) seeking legal guidance on the statute.
Nessel also pointed out that birth certificates aren’t always biologically accurate and can be changed, So, if a child is born to a married couple, both parents are listed on the birth certificate, regardless of who conceived the child. Birth certificates can also be changed later in life to reflect a child’s adoption.
“The fact that the state readily accounts for and acknowledges such biological falsity — sometimes even from birth — cuts against the importance of any state interest in maintaining the accuracy of vital records in regard to the biology of the child,” Nessel wrote.
Jay Kaplan, LGBT Project staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, reacted to the news of Nessel’s opinion, stating:
“We are grateful to Attorney General Dana Nessel for recognizing that transgender people, just like everyone else, should be able to obtain accurate birth certificates. To require transgender people born in Michigan to jump through additional hoops, such as undergoing invasive surgical procedures that they may not want, need, or be able to afford, violates fundamental principles in our state and federal constitutions. Today’s opinion allows transgender people to obtain an important identity document that reflects their authentic lives.”