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Indiana Makes It Easier For Trans People To Change Names

transgender Shutterstock/John Gomez

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Grace Carr Reporter
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The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that transgenders who wish to change their names or officially register as a different sex on their birth certificates can do so without having their titles published in newspapers for public record.

The court ruled to reverse a decision that required a transgendered person have their intent to change their name published at least three times in their home county newspaper, according to the Associated Press Saturday.

“The statutory requirement for publication in name-change cases does not apply to gender marker changes,” Judge John Baker said of the ruling. “It was erroneous to create a requirement where none exists.”

He said it was not fair for the state to continue demanding superfluous conditions on the transgender community and that the burden was not one they should face.

Baker added that for transgenders who have suffered discrimination, harassment, or violence because of their decision to take a new title, “publication of his birth name and new name would enable members of the general public to seek him out, placing him at a significant risk of harm.”

The court emphasized that publishing both the birth name and new name of a transgendered person could leave that individual at risk indefinitely.

“In today’s day and age, information that is published in a newspaper is likely to be published on the Internet, where it will remain in perpetuity, leaving (him) at risk for the rest of his life,” Baker said, according to the NorthWest Indiana Times.

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Grace Carr