Repeal, Repeal, Repeal: Which Repeal HB2 Bill is Best?

By Crystal Richardson

One thing is clear, House Bill 2 (“HB2”) is bad for all North Carolinians and must be repealed immediately. At the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE), that’s been our position from the moment HB2 passed on March 23, 2016.

Most individuals are aware of HB2 and its negative impact on North Carolina’s image because of the economic impact of job losses and event cancellations. But the most serious problem with the law is that it targets transgender individuals for discriminatory and unjust treatment. HB2 has caused more transgender and gender non-conforming individuals to simply avoid restrooms all together, it has increased the violence and harassment experienced by transgender citizens, and it has emboldened people to mistreat LGBTQ citizens by engaging in behaviors from hurtful slurs to physical attacks.

Simply put, legislators must enact a bill that fully repeals the law. Several repeal bills that have been introduced could do the trick, but HB186 is not one of them.

The first section of HB186 states that House Bill 2 is repealed. However, it doubles back and re-enforces political attacks on the transgender community. The bill preempts all municipalities from passing regulations regarding access to “multiple occupancy bathrooms, showers, and changing facilities,” which is short of a satisfactory repeal bill because currently there are no statewide non-discrimination protections nor will there likely ever be.  If the state will not protect its LGBT citizens and the municipalities are preempted from doing so, then how will the transgender community be protected?  It is the duty of our state legislature to care about the general well-being of all its citizens and that includes the transgender community as well.  Anything short of this is unacceptable.

Even more troubling with HB186 is the 90-day waiting period. This bill requires municipalities to not only give a 30-day notice to the state legislature when it intends to pass a non-discrimination ordinance, but it also requires a municipality to wait an additional 90-days after it adopts a non-discrimination ordinance to allow time to build more opposition.

This period allows time for opposing citizens to petition to override the ordinance and request a referendum during the next general or municipal election. This slights the transgender community because (1) if left up to the animus of local citizens, transgender individuals will likely never get non-discrimination protections, (2) individual rights should not be subject to public vote as public opinion does not always translate to a lived equality for all (if that were true, black and white Americans would likely still be segregated), and (3) when a referendum fails the chances of getting the issue back to a vote with city officials is almost obsolete.

Additionally, HB186 would create a remarkable loophole. Mike Meno with the ACLU-NC says it best,

“The proposed law would create a sweeping and dangerous precedent by making North Carolina the first and only state to broadly exempt nonprofits from following local nondiscrimination laws in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The exemptions would apply to both religious institutions and nonreligious 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

The exemptions would apply to all kinds of organizations – nonreligious homeless shelters, domestic violence agencies, and more. Under HB 186, these charities would be able to deny services to LGBT people whose local governments have enacted nondiscrimination protections.

These groups receive a public benefit, in the form of a tax exemption, to serve the public good. They also often receive funding from local and state governments. But HB 186 seeks to give them a license to discriminate against employees, customers, and clients.

HB 186 also exempts religious institutions and city contractors from local nondiscrimination laws. When you combine those exemptions with the one for nonprofits, we’re talking about a huge number of organizations that would be allowed to defy local nondiscrimination policies.”

You can read more about HB2 in this post by NC Policy Watch.

Two important phrases must be included to provide a sufficient “Repeal HB2” bill::

(1) “HB2 Repealed. – S.L. 2016-99 and S.L. 2016-3 are repealed” (Examples of these bills include Senate Bill 25, House Bill 946 and House Bill 221) and

(2)   “’Protected status’ means a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, or genetic information”.  (Examples of these bills include House Bill 82 and House Bill 78).

To effectively repeal HB2, the repeal bill should not only  include this language but also not mandate any form of “cooling off” or moratorium period. It is vital that Repeal HB2 bills include this language and not include loopholes or exceptions. Rather, it should provide unequivocal non-discrimination protections of the LGBTQ community with the intention of lessening the harassment and violence experienced by the transgender community. That is the litmus test for good legislation.

In theory, a full repeal of a disastrous, discriminatory law should be simple. But given our political climate, it’s proving easier said than done. Nine months after state legislators rushed to enact HB2, they began introducing bills to repeal the legislation. There have been at least eight “Repeal HB2” bills introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly as of March 2, 2017:

Sponsors of each bill purport that their version is the best solution to Repeal HB2, so how do citizens determine which bill to support? At CSE, we believe that the litmus test for a repeal bill should always go back to the core of the issue—protecting the transgender community.  

With each passing day, North Carolinians will see even more “Repeal HB2” bills each with legislators will continue to tout as the best option to restore North Carolina’s image and compromise between the two conflicting views. But, the real litmus test will be whether the bill protects the transgender community from discrimination.  That has always been – and remains – the goal. It is critical that the LGB community and North Carolina officials support the rights of transgender individuals in our state. Nothing short of that will suffice.

Crystal Richardson is the Legal Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, Rapid Response Initiative.  

Trump Administration Attempts to Rescind Protections for Transgender Students

 February 22, 2017, one week after Jeff Sessions appointment to U.S. Attorney General, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued a letter rescinding Obama-era guidelines interpreting Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

These guidelines from the Obama Administration were critical to transgender students across the United States, as they provided guidance on the treatment of transgender students in schools. The guidelines detailed that transgender students are allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity; that they should be called by their preferred names and pronouns; and it offered guidance on privacy, confidentiality, anti-bullying and other issues affecting LGBTQ students. Although non-binding, the guidelines made it clear that guidance violation could result in a loss of federal funding.

It should also be noted, however, that today’s revocation of the guidelines is also non-binding. Activists and civil rights attorneys say that transgender students remain protected under Title IX of federal law. Title IX still protects transgender students from sex discrimination in schools and activities, this is the very subject up for debate in a forthcoming supreme court case. Gavin Grimm, a Virginia high school student is suing his school for claims of discrimination by refusing to allow him access to the boys’ bathroom. In 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in his favor and now the decision is up again for appeal.

The revocation of this important guidance is an expected move from this Administration. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and President Donald Trump both have made statements regarding the government’s position on whether transgender students should get to use the bathroom of their choice. Their stance is that the “issue [is] best [re]solved at the state and local level. For now, we must wait and see what the court decides on the issue.

For more information and help contact:

  1. Hotlines: The Trevor Project (866) 488-7386
  2. Trans LifeLine (877) 565- 8860
  3. Campaign for Southern Equality Mapping system: report harassment, violence and discrimination https://lgbthumanrights.crowdmap.com/

Transgender Resources & Issues

 

Dr. Abbott answers questions about Transgender health care

Since 2007, Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS) has offered high quality, culturally competent transgender health services and now serves more than 200 gender nonconforming patients, including adults and adolescents in their Transgender Health Program.

“We strive to provide appropriate, up to date, evidence-based care for our trans patients, including preventive services, behavioral health services, hormone therapy, general medical care, and referral to community resources. We recognize that there is a huge gap in healthcare that is accessible and appropriate for transgender patients in the United States and especially in the South.” – Dr. Jennifer Abbott.

Dr. Jennifer Abbott is the director of WNCCHS’ transgender health program. The Campaign for Southern Equality reached out to Dr. Abbott to see how patients are responding to the election results.

What are the primary concerns you are hearing post-election from LGBTQ patients at WNCCHS?

Will I still be able to get my hormones? Should I “stockpile?” How will this affect my ability to get my gender marker changed? (Since HB2 no driver’s license changes have been allowed, and folks are worried that the law pertaining to passport gender marker changes will be changed. Passport gender marker changes currently are fairly straightforward and only require a letter from a physician.) 

What will become of the status of my marriage if marriage equality is overturned? Many concerns from teens and their providers/allies, “Maybe this means that I will NEVER be able to start blockers or hormone therapy, especially not before I turn 18.” Fears about lack of access to care, particularly if current care-providing clinics close or fewer providers are available.

We’re hearing from a lot of people who are worried that they won’t be able to get hormones anymore. If someone has health insurance, should they be worried?

In terms of access to hormones, the majority of our gender nonconforming patients are uninsured, or if they have insurance, the insurance is already not covering their hormone therapy. WNCCHS is committed to continuing to provide medically necessary hormones at the most affordable cost possible. Since our founding in 1993, WNCCHS has been dedicated to caring for “underserved” communities including immigrants, people living with HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ patients, and people living in poverty. We intend to continue this work in the spirit of social justice and care for all, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status. Furthermore, we will continue our work in outreach and education to other health care clinics and providers to increase access to appropriate transgender health care in our state and in the South.

What are you saying to people who ask if they should “stockpile”?

I do not anticipate legislation that will regulate what medications physicians are able to prescribe. That would be a type of government intervention that we have not seen in healthcare in the past and I anticipate would cause an extreme outcry among physicians, even those who may have supported the President-elect. If patients have a good relationship with their provider, I would advise maintaining that and that care should be able to continue.   

And how do you respond to “Maybe this means that I will NEVER be able to start blockers or hormone therapy, especially not before I turn 18”?

In terms of teen care, for now, the same applies. There is no current law or government regulation specific to transgender care for any age of patient. I believe that we can and must continue to provide care for youth and teens in accordance with WPATH Standards of Care. There are still very few medical providers in our state and in the South with competence in caring for youth and adolescents, so we need to grow this resource. We encourage transgender teens and their parents to reach out to behavioral health providers if in need of increased support.

You can learn more about WNCCHS Transgender Health Program from this profile published in the Mountain X in 2013.


Obama Administration Issues Directive Affirming Trans Students' Identities

The Obama Administration recently issued a directive to all public schools and most colleges and universities to accommodate transgender students. In the directive schools are urged to allow trans students to use the bathrooms and lockers rooms that correspond to their gender identity rather than their biological sex. It also let officials at state and local schools know that they are at risk of losing federal funding if they don’t comply with Title IX.

The Obama Administration’s letter – obtained by the Washington Post states “As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.” This is a very important statement from the Administration, especially with laws like HB2 in NC and similar anti-trans legislation popping up across our Country.

Trans students are only asking for the most basic of human rights – the right to move through public space safely. The Obama Administration’s directive affirms that our requests for dignity and respect are in line with the non-discrimination policies outlined in Title IX, and could have reaching positive effects for the trans community.


4th Circuit Court of Appeals Supports Trans Student

Recently the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with transgender student, Gavin Grimm, in a case concerning his right to use the bathroom that corresponds to his gender identity. This decision could have a huge impact on trans folks in the 4th circuit, and across the Country. The 4th Circuit court deferred to the US Department of Education, who said that requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex is a violation of Title IX, and could result in loss of federal funding.

In the 2-1 decision the 4th Circuit ordered the lower court in Virginia to rehear the case stating that the Gloucester County School Board’s decision to force Grimm to use the women’s bathroom at school is sex based discrimination in violation of Title IX.

The 4th Circuit Court is the highest court to weigh in on the debate over trans folks deserving the dignity to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. This decision could have reaching effects on the trans community in the 4th Circuit and beyond.


Funding Your Transition: A New Resource Guide from Gender Benders

Check out this terrific new resource – Funding Your Transition: A Resource Guide. Everything from employers who provide trans-inclusive health care benefits to tips on crowdfunding for your transition.

The Gender Benders, a grassroots group focused on trans and gender queer issues in Upstate South Carolina, compiled this resource guide based on experiences and research.


New EEOC Ruling Protects Gay and Lesbians from Employment Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a groundbreaking ruling protecting gays and lesbians from employment discrimination. Here’s Chai Feldblum, a member of the EEOC, on what the ruling means:

“The ruling is as significant as people are saying it is. The Commission’s decision that sexual orientation discrimination is always sex discrimination under Title VII now applies across all of the Commission activities, including charges brought to us by employees and applicants who work in the private sector or for state or local governments . . . [T]he legal analysis in this opinion affects all of the EEOC’s work – both for federal workers and private sector workers.” (Read more here.)

With this ruling in place, LGBT workers in all 50 states who experience employment discrimination can now file an EEOC complaint. Learn how to file a complaint here.

It can be helpful to work with an attorney to navigate this process and understand your rights and options. If you are having trouble finding a local attorney, please check out the Legal Resources page and we’ll do our best to help you locate one.

As every LGBT person in the South knows, discrimination in the workplace happens all too often. Please spread the word far and wide about this major breakthrough and know that, as LGBT people in the South, we have a new, powerful tool available to protect our basic rights.



DISCLAIMER: This document is about the process of acquiring a medical or attorney referral, it is not medical or legal advice. Moreover, due to the rapidly changing nature of the law and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, we make no warranty or guarantee.


Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources and Services

New data from the Williams Institute shows that more than 500,000 trans folks call the South home. Too often, they face a lack of resources and support. We often hear stories of people going without medical care or traveling hours to reach a doctor who will treat them with respect. That’s got to change. 

To respond to that need, the Campaign for Southern Equality is releasing Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources and Services.

In the pages of this edition of Trans in the South you’ll find lists of trans-friendly service providers – from doctors to attorneys to counselors – across the South as well as resources to assist with funding medical transition. This information has been collected and vetted by Ivy Gibson-Hill, our LGBT Rights Toolkit Coordinator. We hope this resource guide helps people access the services they need to survive and to thrive.

You can download a PDF of Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources by clicking here.


Lambda Legal Transgender Rights Toolkit


Lambda Legal has put together a Transgender Rights Toolkit for members of the trans community and their advocates.



Name & Gender Change Guidelines:


The name & gender change process is one that is particularly important to members of the trans community. To access the tools, click on your state:

NOTE: Laws dictate how these processes take shape in each jurisdiction; therefore, processes do not look the same across jurisdictions. They are also subject to change. On each “tool” page you will find a date that notes when the page was last updated. To ensure the process has not changed since that date, it is best to contact a local attorney.

ALABAMA NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

AL-MAP-BLUEThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

The Alabama law related to name change can be found here: Alabama Code § 26-11-3

What you’ll need:  Name Change Petition (see your local clerk of probate court), Social Security Form SS-5

Total Estimated Costs: $100.00 depending on county of residence. Cash or money order is accepted in most counties.

Steps:

  • Some counties may require different forms, check with the probate court in your county of residence to find the specific petition form. Fill out the petition and get the form notarized. File the notarized name change petition with probate court of the county where you live.
  • The probate court may or may not set a hearing date.
  • If a hearing is scheduled, the court may ask you why you want to change your name.
  • The court will decide whether to grant the name change or not. If granted, the court will issue Decree Confirming Declaration as to Change of Name.

*Additional documents may be required: Letter from a therapist noting reason for name change, driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Alabama Department of Public Safety. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DPS. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $25.00 for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Alabama will issue an “amended” birth certificate noting change of name and sex, but will not issue a new birth certificate replacing the original.

The fee to prepare an amended birth certificate is $15.00, which includes one certified copy. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time are $4.00 each.

You will need an original or certified copy of the court order for your name change, as well as an original or certified copy of a court order indicating that your gender has been changed. The fee for the court order is a separate fee, and varies from one court to another.

Because the gender change process involves more than simply filling out forms, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed attorney to help you negotiate this process.

The Alabama Law relating to changing the gender on your birth certificate can be found here:  § 22-9A-19(d).  It states that, “Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating that the sex of an individual born in this state has been changed by surgical procedure and that the name of the individual has been changed, the certificate of birth of the individual shall be amended as prescribed by rules to reflect the changes.”


For more information, contact:

Department of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
Montgomery, AL 36130
Phone: 205-261-5033

or:

State Board of Health
Center for Health Statistics
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625
(334) 206-5418; (334) 206-5426

or:

Ms. Dorothy S. Harshbarger
State Registrar and Director
dharshbarger@adph.state.al.us


ARKANSAS NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

AR-MAP-BLUEThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures and estimated costs may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

The Arkansas law about name changes can be found here: § 9-2-101

What You Need:

Additional instructions can be found here.

Total Estimated Costs: $150.00

Steps:

  • Fill out the petition and get it notarized.
  • File the petition with county clerk’s office in your county where you live and pay the  $140.00 fee.
  • Bring with you a cover sheet when you file your petition. A cover sheet can be found and downloaded here or can be obtained from your local clerk of court.
  • The court may schedule a hearing and if so, you must appear in court on that date.
  • If the judge grants your name change, they will issue your court order or they may require that you bring a court order and they will fill it out.

*Additional documents may be required: Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DFA. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $10.00 for a corrected license.




GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Arkansas will change both name and sex, and will mark the birth certificate “amended” with the new information. The request for the court order must include medical documentation (letter from SRS surgeon).

Arkansas Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
4815 West Markham Street
Slot 44
Little Rock AR 72205
(501) 661-2174


FLORIDA NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

LGBT FLORIDA STATE MAPThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures and estimated costs may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

The Florida law about name changes can be found here: Florida Statute 68.07

What You Need:

Additional instructions can be found here.

Total Estimated Costs: $230.00

Steps:

  • Submit your fingerprints for a state and national criminal history records check. See your local clerk of court to find out the process for having your fingerprints taken and submitted, you must use an authorized service provider.
  • Fill out the petition and get it notarized.
  • File the petition with a cover sheet (different counties require different cover sheets, find out which your county uses) at county clerk’s office with $205.00.
  • The clerk will set a court date. To find out more about the procedure in your county ask the clerk about that process.
  • If your name change is granted the judge will issue a court order for your name change. You can get additional copies of the order for a small fee.

*Additional documents may be required: Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DMV. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $25.00 for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Florida WILL change the name and sex on a birth certificate. Information as of 2008 indicates that the old name remains “on the bottom of the new birth certificate”. To process a request for birth certificate amendment as a result of gender reassignment surgery:

You must present the court order entered when you changed your name (using the process above), OR if the name change order is from another state, you must provide evidence that the other state has a name change procedure similar to Florida’s.

Your existing birth record must be changed to reflect your name change before you can request to change your gender.

Once the name change is recorded, you must file a notarized affidavit, DH 430, Affidavit of Amendment to Certificate of Live Birth.

You must also submit medical records indicating that you have completed sexual reassignment in accordance with appropriate medical procedures and that you are now considered to be of (male/female) gender) for all medical purposes . The medical records must be signed by the physician who performed the reassignment surgery. The physician must include his/her medical license number, and you will be required to pay a fee.

Office of Vital Statistics
Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
P.O. Box 210
Jacksonville, FL 32231-0042
(904) 359-6900 ext. 9005.


GEORGIA NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

LGBT Rights - Georgia MapThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

Georgia law about name changes: O.C.G.A. § 19-12-1

What You Need:

  • Name Change Petition
  • Final Decree
  • Notice of Petition
  • Verification of Adult Name Change
  • Social Security Form (Forms vary by county, see your local clerk of court or court web site for the appropriate form)

Estimated Total Costs: $300.00

Steps:

  • Obtain General Civil Case Filing Information and Final Disposition Forms from your county clerk’s office.
  • Fill out Petition, Verification, Notice, and Case Filing forms and sign in front of a notary. Make copies of all forms.
  • File forms at Superior Court Clerk’s Office. Filing fees may be different in different counties. Contact your county clerk’s office to find out filing fees and ask about a court fee waiver if you cannot afford the fees.
  • Within seven days of filing the petition you will need to submit a notice of publication in the local newspaper using the notice of petition form. This publication needs to run once a week for four weeks.
  • 30 days after filing the petition, bring proof to the court that you have published the notice as required. If no objection is raised, the judge will set a date to decide your petition and will render final judgment or decree. Take this decree to the clerk’s office and ask for a certified copy.

*Additional documents may be required: Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Georgia Department of Driver Services. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DDS. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $20.00 for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Georgia will change both name and sex, and will issue a new birth certificate rather than amend the old one.

Contact Information:

Vital Records Service
State Dept. of Human Resources
47 Trinity Avenue SW, Room 217-H
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-4750
Email: GDPHINFO@dhr.state.ga.us

Mr. Michael R. Lavoie
Director, Vital Records Unit
mrl0600@dhr.state.ga.us

Please contact the Legal Section of the Vital Records office (404-656-4901) and ask for instructions for correcting a vital record.


KENTUCKY NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

LGBT KENTUCKY MAPThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

Kentucky law about name changes: Kentucky Statute 401.010

What You Need:

Total Estimated Costs: $40.00

Steps:

  • Fill out the petition and get it notarized.
  • File your petition with $28.00 at your circuit court in the county where you live.
  • The clerk will give you a case number for a court hearing and you will be notified whether you must appear in court.
  • You will either receive a court order for name change in the mail or you will be required to appear in court and receive it at the end of the hearing.
  • You can pay $3.00 each for additional copies of court order.

*Additional documents may be required:  Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Kentucky Department of Motor Vehicles. You must change your name with the DMV within 10 days, but you will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DMV. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $12.00 for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Kentucky will change both name and sex, and will issue a new birth certificate rather than amend the old one. You will need an original letter from your SRS surgeon, and an original or certified copy of the court order for your name change. Please note that current interpretation (2005) of Kentucky law requires a notarized letter from your SRS surgeon, which can be difficult if your surgery was performed in the past or in another country.

Office of Vital Statistics
275 East Main Street 1E-A
Frankfort, KY 40621
(502) 564-4212

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LOUISIANA NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

LGBT Rights Louisiana MapThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

Louisiana law about name changes: Louisiana Statute 13:4751

What You Need:

Total Estimated Costs: Costs vary by parish, contact your local clerk. Find a listing here.

Steps:

  • Fill out the petition and get it notarized.
  • File the petition with the clerk of court in the parish where you live, along with the filing fee.
  • Your court date will be set by the clerk. Appear in court on the date scheduled and if the court grants your petition, you will receive a court order for a name change.

*Additional documents may be required:  Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the OMV. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $25.00 (costs vary depending on parish) for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Louisiana will change both name and sex, and will issue a new birth certificate rather than amend the old one.  According to the Louisiana Department of Public Health/Vital Records Registry, a person born in Louisiana may change their name and gender on their birth certificate pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statute (RS) 40:62, which can be found here:

http://law.justia.com/louisiana/codes/48/98725.html

The statute allows a person to change their gender if they have “sustained sex reassignment or corrective surgery which has changed the anatomical structure of the sex of the individual to that of a sex other than that which appears on the original birth certificate.” RS 40:62(A)

It is unclear what types of surgery constitute “sex reassignment of corrective surgery.” However, in determining whether a person has had such surgery, the court “shall require such proof as it deems necessary to be convinced that the petitioner was properly diagnosed as a transsexual or pseudo-hermaphrodite, that sex reassignment or corrective surgery has been properly performed upon the petitioner, and that as a result of such surgery and subsequent medical treatment the anatomical structure of the sex of the petitioner has been changed to a sex other than that which is stated on the original birth certificate of the petitioner.” RS 40:62(C).

To change name and gender on a Louisiana birth certificate, you must first submit a legal petition and include a surgeon’s letter and any other supporting materials detailing how you have met the requirements of the statute. You will likely have to get a Louisiana attorney to write the petition. The petition has to be submitted to the court in the parish where you were born, or to Orleans parish (where the Vital records registry is located). Louisiana does not accept name and gender change orders from any other jurisdiction, so even if you have obtained these orders in another state, Louisiana might refuse to change your birth certificate. The court will hear the petition, and if granted, will issue an order to change name and gender. You will then submit the order, with a fee, to the Louisiana Vital Records Registry, and they will issue a new birth certificate.

If you have questions about the process, you can email the Vital Records registry at dhh-vitalweb@la.gov or contact them at (540) 219-4500.

The state of Louisiana maintains this page telling how to change the sex and name on the driver’s license.


MISSISSIPPI NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

LGBT Rights Mississippi MapThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

Mississippi law about name changes: Mississippi Code Annotated § 93-17-1 and §93-17-31

What You Need:

Total estimated costs: $113.00

Steps:

  • Fill out the name change petition and get it notarized.
  • File the petition at the county clerk’s office in the county where you live and pay the  $93.00 fee.
  • The clerk will schedule your court date. Appear on that date and if your name change is granted, you will receive your court order for a name change.

*Additional documents may be required:  Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DPS. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $20.00 for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Mississippi will issue an amended birth certificate upon receipt of “a certified court order, a medical statement that attests to the reassignment, and the required fee.” Miss. Code Ann. §41-57-1,

Vital records requires a court order for name change, a medical statement verifying to the reassignment (“irreversible changes to sex” is sufficient), and the required fee ($25.00). Please note that even if a court order is for both name and gender marker change, a physician’s letter must be included as well.

Mississippi Vital Records
PO Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215
(601)206-8200
Fax: (601)-576-7505

Judy Moulder
State Registrar and Director
Public Health Statistics
jmoulder@msdh.state.ms.us


NORTH CAROLINA NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES
NC State Map of LGBT RightsThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

Recent changes in North Carolina General Statute (June 2011) have made the name change process more stringent. This is the case for all individuals seeking name changes, not just LGBT people. Below are the steps individuals must take to change their name in North Carolina. This process results in a legal name change. Additionally, a new birth certificate will be issued with your new legal name.


What You Need:

  • Name Change Petition
  • Notice of Intent to Change Name
  • Two Affidavits of Good Character
  • Two sets of fingerprints
  • Two background checks

Some counties might also require a recently certified birth certificate, photo ID, and a Title search performed by an attorney. It is important to note that, if you prefer, you can hire an attorney to assist you through this entire process.

Total estimated cost: Approximately $200 plus attorney fees

Steps: To change your name in North Carolina, there are several things that you will need to do that take some time and planning. Below, we’ve organized the steps in a way that will hopefully help you save time and frustration.

  • Request a Name Change Petition at your county courthouse. In many counties, you will find this form in the Special Proceedings Division. Fee – approximately $5.
  • You must complete two background checks – State and FBI. These requests take 8-10 weeks to process and require that you get two sets of finger prints. You can have your finger prints taken at the county detention center  (fee – approximately $10 each). Click on the links for directions on how to request background checks. FBI background checks cost $18 (money order or cashier’s check) and the state of North Carolina background check costs $14 (money order or certified check). Once the background checks are complete you can proceed to the next step.
  • Identify two people who live in your county of residence to fill out Affidavits of Good Character. These individuals cannot be related to you and must be over the age of 18. These affidavits will need to be notarized. Your local bank is a good place to access a Notary Public. There may be a small fee associated with this service.
  • North Carolina General Statute requires that you post a Notice of Intent to change your name at the courthouse. The Notice must be posted 10 days prior to filling the petition. It will also need to be time stamped by the Clerk of Courts Office before and after posting.
  • After 10 days, file your Petition with the background checks, Affidavits of Good Character, and a pink Vital Records form. Some counties require additional pieces of information be filed with the Petition (see below). On the Petition, you will be required to provide your true name, county of birth, date of birth, the full names of your parents (as shown on your birth certificate), the name you wish to adopt, your reasons for changing your name, and whether your name has ever been legally changed before (if so, you must provide the facts of your previous name change). You can only change your name one time using the NC name change statute, this does not include changes made in other states or assuming a married name or resuming a maiden name. You will also be required to make a sworn statement that you live in the county where you are filing the Petition and whether or not you have an outstanding tax or child support obligation. NOTE: The reason you provide for requesting a name change is part of the public record. Filing fee: approximately $120.
  • The Clerk of Court will review your application and make a determination as to whether a hearing is required. If so, you will be required to appear before the Clerk of Court.
  • Decision is made. Applicants are often notified by phone. Make sure to receive both a copy of the pink order and the Clerk’s written court order.

As mentioned above, some counties require that you submit additional items with your Petition. These often include the following:

  • A recent certified birth certificate. You must obtain this from North Carolina Vital Records. The waiting period for this is approximately 12 weeks. For a fee of $15, the request can be expedited (2 week wait). You can also go to the Register of Deeds Office in the county of your birth and request a certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • Title search. This requires that you meet with an attorney. The Title search must include a judgement and civil action check. There will be a fee associated with this service.
  • Attach these additional pieces of information to the Petition.*

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update your information with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV requires that you notify them of a name change within 60 days. However, you must change your information with the SSA before you can change your information with the DMV. You must also provide the DMV with “documented proof from the courts or the Register of Deeds establishing that the name change was officially accomplished.”
*Some cases might require additional documentation. For example, if they were previously married and had changed their name when married, they will need to present a copy of the divorce judgment to the Clerk. Another example is if one was discharged from the military for being LGBTQ. In such a situation, it is often the case that they will have a Federal record when the FBI check comes back. If so, they need to give the Clerk a copy of their DD-214, confirming their reason for discharge. For more complicated matters such as these, it would be best to seek assistance from a lawyer in your area.


SOUTH CAROLINA NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

LGBT Rights - South Carolina MapThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

The following are the steps one must take to legally change their name in the state of South Carolina if it is not due to marriage or pursuant to a divorce.

What You Need:

  • A set of fingerprints
  • State background check
  • Statement from the South Carolina Department of Social Services
  • Sworn statement indicating that you do not owe child support or alimony
  • Statement from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) indicating that you are not on the sex offender registry.

Note: The way the process is set up in South Carolina, you will need to hire an attorney to assist you.

Total estimated cost: Approximately $200 plus attorney fees

Steps:

  • Background check conducted by the SC State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Typically, you can have your fingerprints taken by your local law enforcement agency.  In some counties, however, you might find that the local law enforcement agency does not provide this service. If this is the case, you can have your finger prints taken by a private fingerprinting company.
    Fees – Fingerprints: $10 to $50; Background check: $25.
  • SC Department of Social Services statement indicating whether you are on the department’s Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect.
    Fee – $8.
  • Sworn statement written and signed by you stating whether you are under a court order to pay child support or alimony. There is no set form for this. Your attorney prepare a simple affidavit.
  • SLED statement indicating whether you are on the sex offender registry. Note: The form and fee for the SLED background check cover this.
  • File the Petition for Name Change.
    Fee – $150.
  • A hearing will be set and a Judge will determine whether to grant the name change.

Within 10 days of your name change, you must change your name on your South Carolina DMV records. To do so, you will need to visit a DMV office, complete Form 4057, and present proper documentation (your court order). All name changes must be done in person; they cannot be completed online or via mail. While the website does not indicate that a copy of your birth certificate is needed, it would be a good idea to take one along.


TENNESSEE NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

Tennessee Map of LGBT RightsThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

Tennessee law about name changes: Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-8-101 through 29-8-105

What You Need:

  • Name Change Petition (forms vary by county, check with your local chancery court)
  • Social Security Form

Total Estimated Costs: $216.00

Steps:

  • Fill out a name change petition and get it notarized.
  • Certain chancery courts may require different forms, so it is best to contact your local court to find out specific requirements. You can find a listing of courts here.
  • File the petition with $200.00 at your local chancery court.
  • You will be assigned a court date by the clerk. Appear in court and request your name change.
  • If the court grants your request, you will receive a court order for your name change.

*Additional documents may be required:  Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Tennessee Department of Driver Services. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DDS. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $16.00 for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Tennessee will NOT change the sex designation on the birth certificate. Tennessee will issue an amended birth certificate with the old name visibly struck over and the new name typed above it. You will need an original or certified copy of the court order for your name change.


VIRGINIA NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

Virginia Map of LGBT rightsThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

Virginia law about name changes: Virginia code § 8.01-21

What You Need:

Total Estimated Costs: $152.00

Steps:

  • Fill out the Name Change Petition and get it notarized. Make two copies of this form. Fill out the Civil Cover Sheet.
  • Take all forms along with self addressed stamped envelope and $132.00 and file with the circuit court clerk in the county where you live.
  • You will be given a court date. Appear in court on that date and if your name change is granted you will receive a certified copy of your name change order approximately three weeks later.
  • For additional copies of the certified order you can pay $2.50 each.

*Additional documents may be required:  Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DMV. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $20.00 for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

Virginia will issue a new birth certificate as of 2005.  The law about changing the gender on your birth certificate can be found here:  Virginia Code Annotated § 32.1-269.

Provide the State Registrar with a certified copy of a court order indicating that your sex has been changed by medical procedure, or provide the State Registrar with acceptable evidence (pre-operative diagnosis, postoperative diagnosis, description of procedure, and notarized affidavit from your physician) and request that they issue a new birth certificate.

If your petition is denied, you can petition the circuit court in the county where you live or the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Division I, for an order compelling the Registrar to amend the vital record. See also 12 Virginia Administrative Code 5-550-320, if a notarized letter from the physician performing the surgery is presented, a court order may not be necessary.


WEST VIRGINIA NAME CHANGE GUIDELINES

Map of W.Va LGBT RightsThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

 

West Virginia law about name changes: West Virginia Code §48-25-101

What You Need:

Total Estimated Costs: $165.00

Steps:

  • Fill out the petition and get it notarized. File this petition along with $145.00 at the county clerk’s office in the county where you live.
  • You will be given a court date.
  • After filing your petition, and at least 10 days before your court date, publish a legal advertisement (see your county clerk for specific guidelines) declaring the new name that you want.  The publication area for this advertisement should be your entire county, and it needs to include a provision that your hearing may be rescheduled without further notice or publication.
  • The clerk can tell you which newspaper is best to publish in.
  • Once publishing is complete, you will receive a Public Notice Affidavit from the newspaper.
  • Appear at your court hearing and if your name change is granted you will receive a name change court order.
  • Once you have your name change order, take the order to the Social Security office and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

*Additional documents may be required:  Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DMV. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $20.00 for a corrected license.



GENDER CHANGE GUIDELINES

West Virginia will change both name and sex, and will issue an amended birth certificate with the old name struck over and the new name and sex typed in the margin.

You will need an original or certified copy of the court order for your name change, and an original letter from your SRS surgeon.

Vital Registration Office
Room 165
350 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301-3701


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Trans in the South Resource Guide

In the pages of this edition of Trans in the South you’ll find lists of trans-friendly service providers – from doctors to attorneys to counselors – across the South as well as resources to assist with funding medical transition.

You can download a PDF of Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources by clicking here.