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.
Effective immediately, Montana has banned changing the gender on your birth certificate illegal via executive fiat.
This is a deliberate defiance of a court order saying they had to allow transgender people to have correct documents.
I hurt for Montana transgender people today. pic.twitter.com/zKHQtwohlY
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) September 12, 2022
Additional context for folks outside the state:
In 2021, Montana passed SB 280, preventing trans people from updating their birth certificates until having GRS.
The state was sued for this policy based on our constitution’s guarantee for privacy and equal protection.
— Zooey Zephyr (@ZoAndBehold) September 12, 2022
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.”
DPHHS adopts permanent rule to prevent changing sex on birth certificates
— Ashley Nerbovig (@AshleyNerbovig) September 9, 2022
They are banning gender transitions.
They are literally banning people from transitioning in Montana. They do not want trans people to exist and they aren’t being coy.
Queer folk: get armed. Get connected. This shit isn’t in a vacuum, and this is the nice side of what’s coming. https://t.co/B3EouE2hmg
— Queer Armorer (@QueerArmorer) September 12, 2022