The United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled in late June that people born in North Carolina who identify as transgender can now change the sex on their birth certificate upon request and without the need of surgery. This strikes down a 1975 state law requiring transgender-identifying individuals to provide proof of having undergone a sex reassignment surgery before allowing them to change the sex designation on their birth certificate.
As NC Family shared last November, Lambda Legal—a national LGBTQ activist organization—sued North Carolina on behalf of three transgender North Carolinians, calling the state’s 1975 law “discriminatory.” Two of the three plaintiffs are minors and were represented by their parents.
On June 22, U.S. District Court Judge Loretta C. Biggs signed a Consent Judgment, or a “compromise settlement” between the transgender-identifying individuals and the State of North Carolina. This judgment states that North Carolina’s Department of Health & Human Services and State Registrar must “provide certified copies of birth certificates to transgender individuals that accurately reflect their sex, consistent with their gender identity, without requiring the individual to provide proof of ‘sex reassignment surgery,’ […] and without the inclusion of information that would directly or indirectly disclose an individual’s transgender status on the face of the birth certificate; …”
NC Family explained the difference between “sex” and “gender” when we reported on Lambda Legal’s initial suit. “Sex” is rooted in genetics and biology, and is determined by reproductive organs and structures. “Gender,” on the other hand, as defined by Merriam-Webster.com, is “the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex.”
In the compromise settlement, state leaders essentially consented to placing self-defined gender identity above human biology, which is rooted in fact and science, on the most basic and fundamental of government documents—the birth certificate.