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Transgender group to sue over Idaho birth certificate bill

A transgender rights group plans to sue the state of Idaho over a proposed bill that makes it illegal for someone to change their gender identity on a birth certificate, a television station reported on Sunday.

The National Association of Transgendered People has prepared the lawsuit and will file it Monday, KBOI-TV reported. The House Education Committee held a hearing on the bill last week and recommended sending it to the full House for a vote.

The bill introduced by Rep. Julianne Young, a Republican, would ban changes to a birth certificate if more than a year has passed since the person’s birth. The bill is in conflict with a 2018 ruling by a federal magistrate that said Idaho must accept applications from transgender people who wish to change their gender on their birth certificates to confirm with their gender identity.

Idaho has been complying with the federal ruling.

Monica Cockerille, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the 2018 case that led to the policy change, and Richard Eppink, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, have both said Young’s bill would violate the federal court order. If the bill passes, they said, state officials could be held in contempt for trying to follow it.

“The court made clear that any barrier erected by the state, by rule or by statute, to stop transgender people from getting birth certificates matching who they are will be presumptively invalid,” Cockerille told the Post-Register earlier in the weekend.

The Board of Health and Welfare proposed a rule in 2019 to require a doctor to sign off before a minor could alter his or her birth certificate, but scrapped it in November due to a procedural issue in its original approval.

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