In a 4-1 decision announced on Thursday, Utah's Supreme Court expanded transgender rights in the state by siding with two trans petitioners seeking court orders to change their legal names and sex designation on birth certificates.
Under the ruling, a person must show that the gender change petition isn’t made for any wrongful or fraudulent purpose and contains evidence reflecting the person‘s identity, including appropriate clinical care or treatment for gender transitioning or change provided by a licensed medical professional.
The court was very clear about the circumstances under which these applications could be denied, saying in part, that courts can deny a request "only for 'substantial reason' backed by 'factual support.'"
While this is a step in the right direction and provides guidance to the courts, Utah still maintains third-party verification. In contrast, the law in Oregon allows individuals to change their legal documents without such barriers as medical verification or counseling—steps that add difficulty and expense to the process.
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