Transgender people born in Montana will no longer be able to change the sex listed on their birth certificate to accurately reflect their identity under a new state rule that is among the most restrictive in the country, according to transgender rights groups.
Under the rule, which took effect on Saturday, transgender people may change the sex listed on their birth certificate only if it was recorded incorrectly as a result of a clerical error or if the person’s sex was “misidentified” on the original certificate and they can prove it through DNA or other scientific testing. “This has made it virtually impossible for trans folks to amend the gender marker on their birth certificate,” said Alex Rate, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana.
Tennessee, Oklahoma and West Virginia are the only other states that do not currently issue corrected birth certificates for transgender people, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
The new rule is even more restrictive than a state law that was signed last year by Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican. That law, which tightened the previous restrictions, still allowed transgender people to amend their birth certificates if they obtained a court order indicating that their sex had been “changed by surgical procedure.” Before that law was adopted, transgender people had only to submit a signed document to the state affirming that they wanted to amend the gender on their birth certificate, according to the A.C.L.U.