An Alabama policy regarding transgender identification has been ruled unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson.
Referred to as Policy Order 63, the 2012 policy was created under the authority of the Department of Public Safety but now falls under the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The policy requires the holders of state driver licenses to surgically modify their genitals before they can change the sex designation on the license.
“The fact that a State acts based on sex does not invalidate its action, but it does require that the State justify the decision by proving that its reasons were important and its methods well-picked,” said Thompson, who serves the Middle District of Alabama, in his Jan. 15 ruling.
He said the policy forcing full gender reassignment was unconstitutional and directed ALEA to give the three transgender women — Darcy Corbitt, Destiny Clark and Jane Doe, who filed the lawsuit — new licenses “reflecting that they are women.”
“Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court recognized that the Equal Protection Clause demands special skepticism of state actions that impose sex-based classifications,” Thompson said, referring to the 14th Amendment.
“The State has not risen to meet the obligation that the Equal Protection Clause imposes,” he continued. “Alabama therefore may no longer make people’s genitalia determine the contents of their driver licenses.”
The ACLU said Alabama is one of nine states that require proof of surgery to change gender on a state ID.
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