Constitutional Law

Can changed birth certificate defeat bathroom bill's mandate?

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Lambda Legal’s helpline is dealing with a surge in transgender callers who want to change birth certificates and other identifying documents to reflect their gender identity.

The answers to their questions vary based on the state, raising questions about the ease and constitutionality of the process, the Washington Post reports.

The increased interest follows North Carolina’s adoption of a new law requiring government facilities to restrict bathrooms to the gender listed on individuals’ birth certificates. North Carolina is among 37 states that permit individuals to alter the gender on their birth certificates if they provide medical proof of gender reassignment surgery, according to the article.

Ten other states, along with Washington, D.C., and New York City, have a more lenient procedure. They allow a birth certificate change when individuals provide a notarized doctor’s note that they have received the treatment considered necessary by the individuals and their doctors to live consistent with their gender identity.

Three states don’t allow any changes to birth certificates. They are Idaho, Ohio and Tennessee.

Pennsylvania is among the states that require proof of surgery for a change in gender on a birth certificate. In a suit (PDF) filed this month, two transgender individuals claim the requirement violates their rights under the equal protection clause.

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