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Utah Supreme Courtroom upholds rights of trans individuals to vary identify and intercourse on state data

In a 4: 1 ruling announced Thursday, the Utah Supreme Court expanded transgender rights in the state by teaming up with two trans petitioners seeking court orders to change their name and gender on birth certificates.

In giving reasons for its decision, the court stressed the importance of its decision, which reaffirms applicants Sean Childers-Gray and Angie Rice’s right to change their names and legal gender designations.

“Language is important,” said the court.

“We address the complainants with their corresponding pronouns,” it says in a footnote. “The ease with which we could mislead them by using pronouns of different sexes despite their appearance and utterance reinforces the importance of mapping their government IDs to their thoughtful identities.”

The court’s decision went beyond simply granting the applicants the petitions to change their sex. The court also ordered that “sex reassignment petitions in general should be approved, unless they are requested for an unlawful or fraudulent purpose,” and set up a test and framework to approve them in the state.

Utahns who request a change in their legal gender designation under the ruling must “provide at least evidence of adequate clinical care or treatment for gender reassignment or change provided by a licensed physician.”

The court was very clear about the circumstances under which such requests could be denied, and said in part: “A court can only deny a sex reassignment request on” material grounds “backed by” factual support “”.

After receiving a court order approving a change of gender or name, Utahns can request a change in the birth certificate.

“We are grateful that our customers’ right to live as their authentic selves has been upheld by the court,” said Chris Wharton, attorney for the petitioners, in a press release from Equality Utah. “While the decision has been a long time coming, the outcome is not radical – the right to be treated equally regardless of what district or judicial district you are in.”