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Lawsuit: Rules to change gender on Arizona birth certificates too strict, depend too much on judges

By Jill Ryan
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2023 - 12:51pm
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The Arizona Department of Health Services says it can refuse to amend a birth certificate’s recorded gender if the person requests it without meeting the current state requirements.

But an ongoing lawsuit challenges that claim.

While Arizona allows gender amendments on birth certificates, it requires proof of gender reassignment surgery, a chromosomal count pointing towards a different sex or a court order.

But an attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights says that leaves too much discretion to judges. Even the court judge overseeing the lawsuit has said it's a convoluted process.

This lawsuit will decide the constitutionality of the health department's current requirements. If the judge rules to block the department, it could also undermine a different suit trying to ban transgender girls from playing school sports.  

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