(CNN) -- Montana will comply with a court order requiring it to enforce a process that makes it easier for residents to change the sex designations on their birth certificates, the state's health department said Monday, abandoning a recent effort to impose stricter rules in the record-changing process."The Department has received the court's order clarifying the preliminary injunction and despite disagreeing with it, intends to comply with its terms," said Jon Ebelt, a spokesman for Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services, in a statement.In a Monday order, Judge Michael G.
Moses blasted the department for defying a preliminary injunction issued in April that said the state had to pause its enforcement of a 2021 law that required transgender Montanans to undergo a "surgical procedure" if they wanted to amend their birth certificates' sex designations to match their gender identity.Under a rule change adopted earlier this month, it became virtually impossible for transgender residents to change the sex listed on their birth certificates by now only allowing changes under very limited circumstances."Defendants apparently interpret 'that which existed prior to the enactment of SB 280' to mean they have carte blanche to enact whatever regulations they want," Moses wrote, referring to the 2021 law.The judge called the department's argument that the order put it in an uncertain regulatory situation "demonstrably ridiculous," and said motions for contempt would be "promptly considered" if officials didn't comply.Ebelt said the department "stands by its actions and analysis concerning the April 2022 preliminary injunction decision, as set forth in its rulemaking that addressed critical regulatory gaps left by the.
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