Montana’s health department has restored the ability for transgender people to apply to correct the gender marker on their birth certificate.
A judge blocked enforcement of a law that would have required them to have surgery first.
The time to process an application for a birth certificate can take several months.
After a judge blocked enforcement of a law that would have required them to have surgery first, the state health department has restored the ability for transgender people to apply to correct the gender marker on their Montana birth certificate.
The forms for gender designation are available on the department’s website.
According to Jon Ebelt, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Health and Human Services, processing an application for a birth certificate, or a correction to one, can take several months depending on the circumstances, such as the complexity of the request and how much communication is required to clarify information.
Montana is required to process the applications after District Judge Michel Moses issued a temporary restraining order against enforcing a state law that would have required transgender residents to undergo a surgical procedure before changing their birth certificate’s sex.
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In April, Moses declared the law unconstitutionally vague and temporarily halted its enforcement while the court case was pending. However, instead of accepting applications, the state passed a rule stating that no one could change the gender on their birth record unless there was a clerical error.
On Monday, Moses issued a written order threatening the state with contempt if it did not comply with his instructions to reinstate a 2017 rule that allowed people to change the gender designation on their birth certificate by submitting an affidavit stating that they have undergone gender transition or have an intersex condition.
The state said on Monday that it would follow the order.
While the court challenge to the 2021 law is ongoing, Moses’ ruling remains in effect. The trial in the case is scheduled for August 2023, according to Alex Rate, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana.
As of midday Thursday, no applications for gender designation changes had been returned to the state Vital Records department, according to Ebelt.
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