Okla. judge refusing transgender name changes because ‘God meant them to stay male and female’
An Oklahoma judge has denied at least two petitions for name changes for transgender people, invoking DNA and the Bible’s Book of Genesis.
District Judge Bill Graves says the requests were made for a fraudulent purpose.
In a seven-page ruling in a case last year, the judge wrote, “A so-called sex-change surgery can make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more than an imitation of the opposite sex.”
“Here, petitioner has not even had the surgery by which his sex purports to be changed. Thus, based on the foregoing and the DNA evidence, a sex change cannot make a man a woman or a woman a man all of which, the Court finds is sufficient in and of itself to deny petitioner’s request for a name change,” Graves wrote. “To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent.”
“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 created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …’ The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female,” he concluded.
Graves also wrote that he did not want to be “complicit in legitimizing sex changes through changes of names.”
In his ruling last year, he stated three examples a name change would cause problems in society: a person could unwittingly marrying a person “who appeared to be of the opposite sex but was actually of the same sex;” it could hinder crime investigations — causing police officers searching for a male based on DNA evidence to ignore a potential suspect the officers believed was female; and someone circumvent the state’s prohibitions against same-sex marriage.
The first case is under appeal. The second case was recently rejected, though the petitioner had been dressing and acting as a female for six years and was taking hormone therapy. Because she had not had sexual reassignment surgery, the judge ruled the name change to be fraudulent.
“I wanted to give up and just die,” James Dean Ingram, who asked to legally be known as Angela Renee Ingram, told The Oklahoman.