Judge Rules Alabama Surgery Requirement to Have Sex Changed on Driver’s License ‘Unconstitutional’

Photo Credit: Michael Jarmoluk/Pixabay

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal judge nominated to the bench by then-President Jimmy Carter has ruled in favor of three men who identify as women, who sued the State of Alabama for requiring “transgenders” to submit proof of a “complete sex change” operation before being allowed to change the gender on their driver’s license.

“For the reasons below, the court finds Policy Order 63 unconstitutional,” wrote U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson on Friday, opining that the policy does not pass the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection standard.

He noted the two choices before the plaintiffs: to obtain the surgery, “which results in permanent infertility in ‘almost all cases’ to be able to obtain a license with a sex designation that matches their gender” or “bear a driver license with a sex designation that does not match the plaintiffs’ identity or appearance.”

One of the men claimed that having an M on his license instead of an F would be lying, which violates his religious beliefs about telling lies.

“[Darcy] Corbitt feels that carrying a license ‘that says I am male when I know that is not true’ would be ‘proclaim[ing] a lie.’ This, [he] says, would run counter to her religious beliefs as a ‘devout and practicing Christian,’” Thompson wrote.

Corbitt also remarked in a statement released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): “Since my out-of-state license expired, I have had to rely on friends and family to help me pick up groceries, get to church, and get to my job. I missed a family member’s funeral because I just had no way to get there.”

“But the alternative — lying about who I am to get an Alabama license that endangered and humiliated me every time I used it — was not an option.”

The State had argued that the requirement is necessary to have congruence between residents’ birth certificates and their driver’s licenses, as the State also requires a “sex change” before the birth certificate may be altered. It also said that the policy helps police officers identify the individual during traffic stops.

However, Thompson stated that the reasoning was not compelling enough as residents would need to present their driver’s license much more frequently in life than they would be asked to show their birth certificate. He also contended that outing a driver as transgender poses risk of harassment.

“Whenever plaintiffs show an identification document that calls them male, the reader of the document instantly knows that they are transgender. That, the record makes clear, is dangerous,” Thompson wrote. “One-quarter of all transgender people who carry identification documents that do not match their gender have been harassed after showing those documents.”

“[D]efendants have presented no evidence showing how a license with a sex designation that differs from the license-holder’s appearance could help officers confirm that the license matches the driver,” he additionally opined. “Indeed, the record suggests that licenses denoting the license-holder’s genital status are wholly unhelpful for this purpose, as … officers don’t typically check a person’s genitals when stopping or arresting them.”

Thompson therefore concluded that the statute is unconstitutional, failing the equal protection test under the 14th Amendment.

“The State has not risen to meet the obligation that the Equal Protection Clause imposes. Alabama therefore may no longer make people’s genitalia determine the contents of their driver licenses. Policy Order 63 is unconstitutional,” he wrote.

Read the ruling in full here. 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

In their commentaries on Deuteronomy 22:5, which prohibits women from wearing men’s clothing and men from wearing women’s clothing, theologians have explained that God desires a clear distinction between the sexes, which He himself created.

“Now this is forbidden for decency’s sake, that men might not confound those sexes which God hath distinguished; that all appearance of evil might be avoided, such change of garments carrying a manifest sign of effeminacy in the man, of arrogance in the woman, of lightness and petulancy in both; and also to cut off all suspicions and occasions of evil, for which this practice would open a wide door,” wrote the late Methodist preacher Joseph Benson.

Theologian Matthew Henry also outlined, “God’s providence extends itself to the smallest affairs, and his precepts do so, that even in them we may be in the fear of the Lord, as we are under his eye and care. Yet the tendency of these laws, which seem little, is such, that being found among the things of God’s law, they are to be accounted great things.”

“If we would prove ourselves to be God’s people, we must have respect to his will and to his glory, and not to the vain fashions of the world. Even in putting on our garments, as in eating or in drinking, all must be done with a serious regard to preserve our own and others’ purity in heart and actions. Our eye should be single, our heart simple, and our behavior all of a piece.”

As previously reported, while some view transgenderism as a medical condition, Christians believe the matter is also a spiritual issue at its root — one that stems from the same predicament all men everywhere face due to the Fall.

Jesus came that men might be set free from the grip of sin, which man could not conquer on their own, and to give men hope — not only for the life to come but that they might be transformed by the second birth for the here and now, leaving their old man, which was of Adam, for the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:6), which is of God.

Preacher A.W. Pink once said, “The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces [only] a Savior from Hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.”


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