Transgender Utahns breathe a sigh of relief today after the Utah Supreme Court affirmed our right to update our legal gender markers. Many of your neighbors have been denied this right or languished in legal limbo for too long. Transgender Education Advocates of Utah joins our community in celebrating our right to be seen for who we are under the law.
The court’s decision comes nearly 3.5 years after the arguments were first heard. This ruling should apply a standard for changing gender markers statewide. Previously, some judges would grant these orders while others would not—leaving many transgender Utahns waiting on the courts or simply unable to update their documents.
Under the old system, a trans person’s ability to update their gender marker was often a matter of which court district they lived in. Thursday’s ruling seems to correct this with a two-pronged standard for all Utahns. The first is showing the update isn’t for a “wrongful or fraudulent purpose” and the second is “evidence of clinical care or treatment for gender transitioning or change, provided by a licensed medical professional.”
A driver’s license or other ID with the wrong gender marker on it can force a transgender person to out themselves on a daily basis: putting them at risk for ridicule, discrimination and violence. The difficulties of navigating public spaces with outdated documents often isolate trans people from society even further.
About TEA of Utah: TEA of Utah works to ensure that all Utahns are afforded the same opportunity to live, work, and thrive regardless of their gender identity or expression. We do this through education, advocacy, and community building so that all Utahns can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. Click here to support our efforts.