Judge allows transgender suit against state to proceed

Capital News Service
LANSING — Transgendered Michigan residents can pursue a constitutional lawsuit challenging the Secretary of State’s requirements to change the gender on their drivers’ licenses and state ID cards, a federal judge has ruled. The decision rejects a bid by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to get the case thrown out without trial but doesn’t determine whether the challengers ultimately will win the case. At issue is whether Johnson’s office can legally require transgendered residents to undergo sex-reassignment — “gender confirmation” — surgery so they can provide an amended birth certificate to change the listed gender. The agency adopted that policy in 2011. A lawyer for the challengers, Jay Kaplan of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, said his organization had met several times during almost three years with Johnson’s representatives before filing suit.