WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Montana’s health officials said Monday their department will follow a judge’s ruling that will allow transgender people to change the gender markers on their birth certificates.
- Judge Michael Moses said health officials made “calculated violations” of his order.
- The order states that officials have to temporarily stop enforcing a law blocking trans people from updating their gender on their birth certificates unless they had undergone surgery.
Montana officials announced that its health department will follow a judge’s ruling and temporarily allow trans people to update their gender markers on their birth certificates.
Monday’s statement comes just days after state officials announced they would disregard District Court Judge Michael Moses’ order.
On Monday, the judge said that state health officials made “calculated violations” of an order he issued late last week when announcing their decision to defy it.
Moses on Thursday clarified a preliminary injunction he had issued in April. The ruling states that the state could not prevent transgender people from updating their birth certificates while Senate Bill 280 was challenged in court. State officials, however, said they would not comply with the order.
Moses said Monday that he would consider motions for contempt after several violations of his April order.
State officials engaged “in needless legal gymnastics to attempt to rationalize their actions and their calculated violations of the order,” wrote Moses, who called Montana’s interpretation of his earlier order “demonstrably ridiculous.”
Charlie Brereton, director of the state’s Department of Public Health and Human Services, said last week that “the department thoroughly evaluated the judge’s vague April 2022 decision and crafted our final rule to be consistent with the decision. It’s unfortunate that the judge’s ruling today does not square with his vague April decision.”
In a statement issued by the Montana DPHHS, they said that the agency would follow the judge’s order just hours after the judge issued his order Monday,
“The Department has received the court’s order clarifying the preliminary injunction and despite disagreeing with it, intends to comply with its terms,” department spokesperson Jon Ebelt said in a statement.
“It’s unfortunate that it has taken two very clear court orders and many months to comply with the law,” Alex Rate, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Montana, told The Associated Press.
“But from the perspective of transgender Montanans who are seeking to obtain accurate identity documents, today’s announcement is certainly progress,” Rate added.
The ACLU and its Montana affiliate represent two transgender individuals who want to change the gender marker on their Montana birth certificates.
Source: Yahoo! News