Montana Just Launched Another Terrifying Attack on Its Trans Citizens

On Saturday, despite active protests from the community, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) made it illegal for trans citizens to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, effective immediately.

The order came via a special judicial fiat, following the DPHHS’s 2021 decision to prevent trans folks from making changes to their birth certificates before having gender-affirming surgery.

The law now allows changes to birth certificates only under extremely specific circumstances, such as a legal misidentification or mistake on the original documentation. Even in these cases, the law will now require DNA and chromosomal evidence to enact an official change.

This April, a District Court judge blocked any further enforcement of the 2021 law that would have made a medical transition a legal requirement for changing a citizen’s gender marker, citing the law as too vague to be actually constitutional. An emergency ruling in May, however, stated that birth certificate gender markers may not be changed because gender is an “immutable genetic fact, which is not changeable, even by surgery.”

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