N.J. urges dismissal of trans birth-certificate case

N.J. urges dismissal of trans birth-certificate case

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New Jersey officials continue to urge a federal judge to dismiss the case of a trans woman who seeks a gender-accurate birth certificate without undergoing gender-confirmation surgery.

“Jane Doe,” a trans woman born in New Jersey, requests a birth certificate that accurately reflects her gender. However, in a Nov. 6 filing, New Jersey officials insist Doe’s male birth certificate is accurate.

New Jersey officials currently require proof of gender-confirmation surgery prior to issuing a trans person a revised birth certificate with a different gender. State officials contend that issuing Doe a female birth certificate before she undergoes gender-confirmation surgery would open the door to fraud and identity theft.

“Surely, ensuring accurate records and combating fraud and identity theft are important governmental interests,” attorneys wrote in the defense filing.

The 42-page filing calls on U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to dismiss Doe’s case as meritless.

Doe filed suit last year, alleging that requiring surgery for a gender-accurate birth certificate is discriminatory and violates her constitutional rights.

The defendants are state registrar Vincent T. Arrisi and state health commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett, along with the agencies they head: the New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and the New Jersey Department of Health, respectively.

The defendants’ request for dismissal also notes that 20 states require gender-confirmation surgery prior to issuing a revised birth certificate.

Idaho, Kansas, Tennessee and Ohio don’t permit any birth-certificate revisions, even after gender-confirmation surgery, according to the request for dismissal.

Neither side had a comment for this story. “As this involves continuing litigation, we have no comment,” said Leeland Moore, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

As of presstime, the dismissal request remained pending with Shipp.

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