AG Nessel declares required sex-reassignment surgery for birth certificate change unconstitutional

Top Stories

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel addresses the media during a news conference, Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Attorney General Dana Nessel declared a state law unconstitutional; the law in question requiring sex-reassignment surgery to change the sex designation on a birth certificate.

In Opinion #7313, Nessel expresses that the requirement violates an individuals equal protection rights as well as due process rights under both the United States and Michigan constitutions.

According to a Michigan Complied law 333.2831(c) says the only way for Michigan-born people to change the sex designation on their birth certificates is by requiring:

  • a written “request that a new certificate be established to show a sex designation other than that designated at birth”; and
  • “an affidavit of a physician certifying that sex-reassignment surgery has been performed.”   

The law violates Michiganders’ most basic and fundamental protections under the Constitution. As written, it is a tool of intolerance that treats one group of people different from the rest of us by requiring thousands of residents to undergo expensive and invasive medical procedures in order to amend their birth certificates to reflect their true identity. That requirement creates a discriminatory double standard when the listed parent information on a birth certificate is not always biologically accurate. If that aspect of the certificate can reflect who will love and care for the child, so should the listed sex be a true reflection of how the person identifies.”   

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) made the formal request for an Attorney General Opinion as to “whether MCL 333.2831(c) violates the constitutional rights of Michigan-born persons who seek to amend their birth certificate to alter their sex designation assigned at birth to reflect their present gender identity.” 

Hertel expressed her thoughts, and well as MDHHS’ future plans for helping with this process,

Removing this undue burden on individuals seeking to change their sex designation assigned at birth to reflect their true gender identity on their birth certificates is the right thing to do. Consistent with the opinion, applicants will no longer need to undergo sex reassignment surgery or to provide proof that surgery has been performed. MDHHS is already working on a process to assist individuals in making these changes.” 

MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel

To read AG Nessel’s full opinion, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan

StormTracker 6 Radar