Ray v. Himes

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LGBT people and people living with HIV.
Status: Open
Court:
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
Issues: Transgender Rights

Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s refusal to correct the gender marker on birth certificates for transgender individuals, for any reason, at any time. Ohio is one of just three states, with Tennessee and Kansas that has yet to change the extremely regressive and outdated policy.

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“This policy is not only archaic and out-of-step with the rest of America but also dangerous. Forcing transgender Ohioans to go through life with inaccurate birth certificates, a basic form of identification, unnecessarily exposes them to discrimination, harassment, and violence. It also denies them their very identity,” Lambda Legal Law Fellow Kara Ingelhart said. “In fact, government officials in Ohio know this, given that they allow transgender people to change the gender on their drivers’ licenses and state identification cards.”

People born in Ohio are able to correct the gender marker on other legal documents such as their driver’s license, state identification, U.S. Passport, and social security information. But in refusing to allow transgender people to change their birth certificates, the state of Ohio is “forcing transgender people to ‘out’ themselves every time they need to present the document, which exposes them to a range of unfair and discriminatory treatment, from denial of employment, to verbal harassment, to physical violence,” noted Gabriel Arkles, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT and HIV Project.