Four transgender Ohioans are suing the state over a policy blocking them from changing their birth certificates to reflect the gender with which they identify. The ACLU and Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit.
According to the ACLU's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in Columbus, people born in Ohio can change the gender listed on their driver's license, passport, and social security information, but not their birth certificate.
Stacie Ray, one of the plaintiffs, says she was embarrassed, harassed and threatened with physical violence after a human resources employee publicly noted the gender on her birth certificate does not match the gender on her driver’s license and other legal documents.
“I was referred to as the freak and the female coworker said if she ever encountered me in the women’s restroom that she would beat me up,” Ray said.
The Ohio Attorney General's office says it's reviewing the lawsuit. The state Department of Health declined to comment.
Aaron Baer with the Citizens for Community Values says his group doesn’t condone threats like Ray experienced. But he says the ACLU is sacrificing medical accuracy for political ideology.
“What they are trying to force the state to do here is falsify medical records,” Baer said.
The ACLU says Ohio is one of only three states that has yet to change its policies on transgender people and birth certificates, along with Tennessee and Kansas.