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Tipsheet

Federal Judge Blocks Montana’s Transgender Birth Certificate Law

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A federal District Court judge in Yellowstone County, Montana granted an injunction on Thursday, pausing enforcement of a law that requires transgender residents to undergo surgery and obtain a court order before the state to amend their sex listed on their birth certificate. 

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The preliminary injunction means that Montana residents can continue to change the sex listed on their birth certificate through the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The legislation, Senate Bill 280, was signed into law in 2021. 

“The sex of a person designated on a birth certificate may be amended only if the department receives a certified copy of an order from a court with appropriate jurisdiction indicating that the sex of the person born in Montana has been changed by surgical procedure,” the law states. 

“The order must contain sufficient information for the department to locate the original birth certificate. If the person's name is to be changed, the order must indicate the person's full name as it appears on the original birth certificate and the full name to which it is to be amended,” it continues.

Reportedly, two transgender Montana residents who wanted to change their sex on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery sued. District Judge Michael Moses ruled that the law was too vague and did not specify what kind of surgical operation a person must undergo.

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Late last month, Katie reported that the Biden administration announced that U.S. passports will now offer an “X” option for “nonbinary” individuals who do not want male (M) or female (F) listed on their passport. In addition, TSA body scanners will be “enhanced” technology that will decrease “false alarm rates” and pat-downs” for transgender Americans who are traveling.

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