GOVERNMENT

‘It has made transgender individuals, individuals’: Plaintiff relieved by Utah Supreme Court ruling

May 6, 2021, 5:38 PM | Updated: 5:39 pm
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The Utah State Board of Education said schools will determine their own policies on gender identity. Photo credit: Getty Images.

SALT LAKE CITY — After the Utah Supreme Court issued its ruling that transgender people in Utah may change their name or gender on their birth certificates and other government documents, one of the two plaintiffs in the case brought before Utah’s highest court says she’s relieved. 

“I think I had no idea how much tension was being held inside,” said Angie Rice. 

Rice is one of two Utah transgender residents who wanted their birth certificates to reflect that. It’s been four years since Rice brought her case before the lower courts. Justices didn’t hear arguments in the case until January 2018, issuing the ruling Thursday. 

“I have no animosity or no bitterness, I only have – honestly I have gratitude that’s it’s finally over,” Rice said 

She also said the ruling goes far beyond just changing gender markers on documents like birth certificates, passports and licenses. 

“It really now has made transgender individuals, individuals. There’s no difference under Utah constitution, under Utah law,” Rice said.  

The Utah ruling allowing transgender individuals to change their gender identification also matters, she said, for things like medical care, banking, public accommodations, sports and even which prison one could end up in.

“If you need women’s healthcare and your gender marker on the insurance paperwork is the wrong gender, then insurance companies deny your medical health coverage,” Rice said. 

Rice also recalled a story in which she was searched at the airport after the worker saw a woman standing there, but her ID said she was a man. 

“Nobody has any authority whatsoever to humiliate somebody like that in public, whether it’s a simple traffic stop or anything else,” Rice said. “It was made right today.”

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‘It has made transgender individuals, individuals’: Plaintiff relieved by Utah Supreme Court ruling