Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R-Ohio) administration will not appeal a court decision requiring the Ohio Department of Health to alter birth certificates to erase biological sex. The court had ruled that Ohio had discriminated against people who identify as transgender and who sought to change their birth certificates to reflect a transgender identity.
“For more than a year, Ohioans have been told to trust science, and respect basic medical facts. Unfortunately, Governor DeWine has abandoned the science that shows that no one—regardless of the medical procedures they receive, hormones they inject themselves with, or gender stereotypes they conform to—can change their biological sex,” Aaron Baer, president of the Center for Christian Virtue (CCV) said in a statement on the decision.
“By dropping this lawsuit, Ohio will now allow falsified birth certificates. This is both medically hazardous, and sets a terrible precedent that legal documents from the State can reject objective realities. You don’t need to be a doctor to know that men and women have vastly different medical needs, regardless of how they identify,” Baer insisted.
DeWine’s administration could easily have appealed the ruling to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Yet on Thursday, the health department told the court it would not appeal the ruling, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. The department is drafting a process for people to request a change of sex on birth certificates and expects to have it in place by June 1.
In December 2020, Judge Michael Watson in the Southern District of Ohio struck down Ohio’s policy barring transgender alterations of sex on birth certificates. He cited Romer v. Evans (1996), a case in which the Supreme Court struck down a Colorado law preventing homosexual or bisexual people from claiming a protected status, ruling that it violated the Equal Protection Clause.
“This policy resembles the sort of discrimination-based legislation struck down under the equal protection clause in Romer v. Evans as nothing more than a policy ‘born of animosity toward the class of a person affected’ that has ‘no relation to a legitimate government purpose,’” Watson wrote in the ruling.
Ohio had argued that the policy ensured the state would maintain “accurate records.” Ohio birth certificates designate a person’s “sex,” not his or her gender identity.
While gender dysphoria (the condition of identifying with the gender opposite one’s biological sex) is a serious condition, males do not become female simply by identifying as feminine. Transgenderism obscures a person’s biological sex, which can often determine the kind of medical care he or she requires. Some pharmaceuticals help females but harm males and vice versa.
Transgender identity in medicine has caused real harm. In one particularly tragic case, a pregnant woman who identified as a man went to a hospital with abdominal pain. Because she identified as male and records listed her as male, doctors discounted the idea that she could be in labor. She did not receive the care she needed and her child died.
The transgender narrative also arguably victimizes people who suffer from gender dysphoria. Children with gender dysphoria are extremely unlikely to continue in that condition after puberty unless they undergo “treatments” that may sterilize them. Doctors have warned that even “puberty-blockers” and cross-sex hormones give healthy people a disease. Research shows that there are significant risks with sex-reassignment surgery, including heart conditions, increased cancer risk, and loss of bone density.
Many people who once identified as transgender realize that they cannot alter their biological sex. Some of them identified as transgender due to confusion about their sexuality, like detransitioner Charlotte Evans, who launched a network for formerly transgender people.
James Shupe, the first person to obtain a legal “non-binary” sex designation, later petitioned the court responsible for his “non-binary” status to restore the sex on his birth certificate to “male.” In documents he gave PJ Media, Shupe described his “non-binary” designation as a “psychologically harmful legal fiction.” He told PJ Media he hopes this decision will prevent a woman currently seeking “non-binary” recognition from following the same lies.
“The charade of not being male, the legal fiction, it’s over,” Shupe told PJ Media at the time. “The lies behind my fictitious sex changes, something I shamefully participated in, first to female, and then to non-binary, have been forever exposed. A truthful accounting of events has replaced the deceit that allowed me to become America’s first legally non-binary person.”
“The legal record has now been corrected and LGBT advocates are no longer able to use my historic non-binary court order to advance their toxic agenda,” he added. “I am and have always been male. That is my biological truth, the only thing capable of grounding me to reality.”
Men and women who identify as transgender may be able to put a false sex designation on their birth certificates in Ohio, but they cannot alter their biological sex. DNA, not identity, determines if a person is male or female, and his or her development according to that sex begins in the womb and can never be fully reversed. When Ohio fully reverses its policy to embrace transgender identity in June, Tennessee will be the only state to require that birth certificates reflect biology, rather than identity.