Oral arguments are tentatively scheduled for April in the case of “Jane Doe,” a trans woman who says New Jersey officials are violating her civil rights by refusing to issue a gender-accurate birth certificate unless she undergoes surgery.
For several years, Doe has been requesting a birth certificate that accurately reflects her gender. However, New Jersey authorities maintain Doe’s male birth certificate is accurate until she undergoes gender-confirmation surgery.
Doe filed suit in 2016, claiming 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.
U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp must decide whether to grant the defendants’ request to dismiss Doe’s case as meritless.
Oral arguments are scheduled for 11 a.m. April 6 in Courtroom 5W of the U.S. Court House in Trenton, with Shipp presiding. The proceedings are open to the public.
The defendants note in court filings that 20 states require proof of surgery prior to issuing a gender-accurate birth certificate. However, attorneys for Doe counter that several states don’t have surgery requirements, including Pennsylvania, New York, California, Iowa, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
Neither side had a comment for this story.