There's a new federal lawsuit over gender designations on Oklahoma birth certificates. Governor Stitt and the Oklahoma State Department of Health are at the center of the suit.
Allister Hall, one of the plaintiff’s told News 9 the correct gender designation is vital to his mental and physical well being.
“Not having such an essential document reflect the truth of who I am feels as though I am living a lie,” he said.
Hall and two other transgender Oklahomans are taking legal action. After they said the state didn’t allow them to change their gender designation on their birth certificates following Governor Stitt’s order.
“I got an email saying, ‘we will not be able to amend your birth certificate to factually represent who you are’,” said Hall.
Governor Kevin Stitt, Interim Commissioner of Heath Keith Reed and State Registrar of Vital Records Kelly Baker are all co-defendants on the federal lawsuit.
“It vastly put a strain on my mental health. It is something that can drive people to suicide. It is so important to have legal documentation proving that this is who I am, this is who I have always been, and this is who I will always be,” said the plaintiff.
He said thankfully most of his legal documents have been changed from female to male but that’s not the case for his birth certificate and tribal license.
“I have to present my tribal license when I want to receive medical services via my tribe,” he said.
Hall said not only can this affect his ability to get healthcare and housing, but it poses a danger on the transgender and nonbinary community.
“When people see that my gender marker is female instead of male as my gender identity aligns…I have been followed into bathrooms, I have feared for my safety. Outing somebody can really lead to horrific violence,” said Hall.
I did reach out to both the Governor’s office and the State Health Department, both said they were unable to comment at this time due to pending litigation.