ACLU files suit over Montana transgender birth certificate law

ACLU files suit over Montana transgender birth certificate law
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The ACLU of Montana filed a lawsuit against the state, seeking to challenge a recently passed birth certificate law that it alleges makes it "difficult, if not impossible" for people to change their birth certificates to match their identities.

The law that the ACLU seeks to undo require an individual to undergo gender-affirming surgery and initiate a legal proceeding in order to prove they have completed the operation.

The civil rights group argues that the law does not specify what amounts to "sufficient" evidence of gender-affirming surgery and does not described what surgeries would be required.

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The ACLU also argues in its lawsuit that the new law "invades  the privacy of transgender Montanans." They also allege that the Montana state legislature did not provide any "legitimate public purpose for the Act, and none exists."

"An individual's gender identity and medical treatment are intensely personal and private. The Act requires public review of a person's gender identity and medical treatment in order to amend an important government document," the suit states.

"Not all transgender people are able to undergo the gender-affirming surgery the ACt compels," the suit adds. "For some, the surgery is not medically necessary, while for others it is medically contraindicated. Others do not have health-insurance coverage for, or cannot otherwise afford the cost of the surgery."

The suit was filed on behalf of Amelia Marquez and an unidentified man. Marquez is a Montana native who cannot currently afford the surgery that Montana's law requires, nor can she take the necessary time off of work.

The other plaintiff, John Doe, was born in Montana, but currently lives out-of-state. Like Marquez, he is seeking to change his Montana birth certificate and has completed upper masculinization surgery and no longer wishes to undergo any further operations.

"The Act's sole purpose is to intentionally burden a transgender person's ability to correct their birth-certificate sex designation to confirm with their gender," the ACLU argues, adding that it "requires individuals, including Plaintiffs, to spend a significant amount of money to retain an attorney and attend court proceedings."