From Simon Brown at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:
An Oklahoma judge who used the Bible as the basis for denying name-change requests by women who had gender-reassignment surgery has been overruled by a higher court.
On two separate occasions, one in 2011 and another in 2012, Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves refused to permit two people who were born male to change their names to ones that are traditionally female because doing so “is fraudulent.”
In a baffling ruling in which Graves claimed that it is impossible for anyone to change their gender, he used the Book of Genesis to support his conclusion.
“To grant name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent,” Graves wrote in his 2012 decision denying James Dean Ingram’s request to become Angela Renee Ingram. “It is notable that Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them.’ The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female.”
Graves made the same argument in 2011, when he refused to permit Steven Charles Harvey to become Christie Ann Harvey.
Fortunately a higher court has mopped up Graves’ messes — twice. Last week, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals unanimously voted to grant Ingram’s request. The court had previously undone Graves’ misdeed on behalf of Harvey as well.
Graves, who was once a Republican member of the state legislature, said the appeals court’s action is “very disappointing.”