Is the City Discriminating Against Transgender People?


A new lawsuit alleges that New York City discriminates against transgendered people by making it prohibitively difficult to amend their birth certificates. According to the official city health code, new birth certificates “shall be filed when … the name of the person has been changed pursuant to court order and proof satisfactory to the department has been submitted that such person has undergone convertive surgery.” But the suit alleges that the city’s standard of proof is higher than necessary. Plaintiff Louis Leonard Birney, a 70-year-old female-to-male transsexual, says he was required to not only submit an affidavit from his doctor, but also a complete surgical record and a post-operative psychiatric evaluation. According to the suit, the city “not only exceed the relevant legal requirements, but infringe petitioner’s constitutional rights by requiring him to disclose confidential information regarding his medical history without just cause.”

New lawsuit charges that city discriminates against transgendered people [NYP]