F.V. v. Barron (formerly F.V. v. Armstrong)

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Status: Closed
Outcome:
Victory
Court:
U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho
Issues: Transgender Rights

Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit challenging the State of Idaho’s refusal to allow transgender people to correct the gender on their birth certificates.

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“Unlike nearly every other state in America, Idaho currently enforces a categorical ban against transgender people changing the gender on their birth certificates, which is an archaic policy that defies logic,” Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said. “In fact, government officials in Idaho know this, given that they allow transgender people to change the gender on their drivers’ licenses.”

Lambda Legal filed the lawsuitin the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho on behalf of two transgender women, F.V., currently a resident of Hawai`i identified only by her initials, and Dani Martin, who lives in Idaho. The lawsuit argued that denying transgender Idahoans the ability to obtain accurate birth certificates discriminates against them and invades their privacy, liberty, and freedom from compelled speech under the U.S. Constitution.  For example, after F.V. displayed her birth certificate at a social security office, the employee referred to her as a “tranny,” and someone who overheard the comment called her a “faggot.”  Ms. Martin similarly had to argue with an Idaho DMV employee that she was a woman, and entitled to be treated as such, despite the fact that her birth certificate failed to reflect her gender identity. The Court ruled that the current birth certificate policy unconstitutionally discriminates against transgender people.

According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, almost one-third of transgender individuals who showed an identity document with a name or gender marker that conflicted with their perceived gender were harassed, denied benefits or services, discriminated against, or assaulted. Transgender individuals also are disproportionately targeted for hate crimes.

Read about birth certificate policies across the United States here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/know-your-rights/article/trans-changing-birth-certificate-sex-designations