Monday, March 24, 2014

Appeals Court Approves Transgender Name Change Over Trial Judge's Religious Objections

In In the Matter of the Application of James Dean Ingram To Change His/Her Name, (OK App., March 21, 2014), the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals reversed a trial court judge's refusal to allow transgender petitioner, who was in the process of a sex transition from male to female, to change her name from from James Dean Ingram to Angela Renee Ingram.  The appeals court held that the trial judge abused his discretion when he concluded that the name change was sought for an illegal or fraudulent purpose.  According to AP, the trial court judge, Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves, citing Biblical passages, had said:   "[A] sex change cannot make a man a woman or a woman a man.... The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female."  The Oklahoma ACLU issued a press release announcing the Court of Civil Appeals' decision. In 2012, the appeals court reversed a similar denial by the same judge. (See prior posting.)