Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Montana State Capitol protesting anti-LGBTQ legislation on in Helena, Mont. | Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP, File By Associated Press 09/15/2022 05:40 PM EDT Link CopiedBILLINGS, Mont. — Just hours after a Montana judge blocked health officials from enforcing a state rule that would prevent transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificate, the state on Thursday said it would defy the order.District Court Judge Michael Moses chided attorneys for the state during a hearing in Billings for circumventing his April order that temporarily blocked a 2021 Montana law that made it harder to change birth certificates.Moses said there was no question that state officials violated his earlier order by creating the new rule.
Moses said his order reinstates a 2017 Department of Public Health and Human Services rule that allowed people to update the gender on their birth certificate by filing an affidavit with the department.However, the state said it would disregard the ruling.“The Department thoroughly evaluated the judge’s vague April 2022 decision and crafted our final rule to be consistent with the decision.
It’s unfortunate that the judge’s ruling today does not square with his vague April decision. The 2022 final rule that the Department issued on September 9 remains in effect, and we are carefully considering next steps,” said Charlie Brereton, director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.ACLU attorney Malita Picasso expressed dismay with the agency’s stance and said officials should immediately start processing requests for birth certificate changes.“It’s shocking that after this morning’s hearing the department would allege there was any.
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