Montana has adopted a rule that effectively forbids transgender people from changing the sex designation on their birth certificate issued by the state, The Hill reported on Monday.
According to the new rule, which was adopted Friday by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and which went into effect over the weekend, a person's sex on their birth certificate can be altered only if it was listed incorrectly ''as a result of a scrivener's error or a data entry error'' or if the individual's sex was ''misidentified on the original certificate.''
If the sex was misidentified on the original birth certificate, the Health and Human Services Department will make a change only if it has a correction affidavit and supporting documentation.
This means that a change to the birth certificate cannot be made even if the person has received gender-affirming medical or surgical procedures, according to The Hill.
Montana made the ruling even though District Judge Michael Moses blocked state officials in April from enforcing a law passed last year that permits the department to amend an individual's sex designation on their birth certificate only if the department receives a court order indicating that the person's sex ''has been changed by surgical procedure.''
Moses wrote in his order that the law is a discriminatory barrier for transgender people wanting to correct their birth certificates and deprives them of ''significant control'' over how they disclose their gender identity.
The department on Friday explained in a notice that the judge's ruling is not relevant because ''birth certificates and other records of birth include the 'sex' of the child, not the child's 'gender' or 'gender identity.'''
The notice added that ''science and medical knowledge recognize the difference between 'sex,' which is a biological concept (and a biological fact), and 'gender,' which is a psychological, cultural, and/or social construct.''
In three other states — Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia — individuals may not change the gender marker or sex designation listed on their original state-issued birth certificate, according to The Hill. Similar bans in Ohio and Idaho were struck down in 2020.
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