Two transgender women and a trans man are suing the state of Alabama with the ACLU to change their gender on their driver’s licenses.
Darcy Jeda Corbitt, Destiny Clark, and an anonymous plaintiff filed their lawsuit on Tuesday (6 February). They filed their lawsuit against various public officials and DMV employees, who refused to change their licenses.
The lawsuit contends that a state policy ‘prevents transgender people in Alabama from obtaining a driver license that reflects their gender, unless they undergo surgical procedures and disclose information about those procedures to the government’.
However, it further states official only accept some gender confirmation surgeries.
This leads to harm against transgender individuals in Alabama. All three plaintiffs have been ‘personally harmed by this policy’.
Someone allegedly called Corbitt an ‘it’ in a public area. Meanwhile, Clark avoids lawful activies which require her to show her license.
Surgery is not the only way
Corbitt also described the policy as ‘manipulative and cruel’ to BuzzFeed News.
‘Plenty of transgender people just take hormones, that’s enough for them,’ she said. ‘They got the characteristics they wanted. They don’t want to change their lower half and shouldn’t have to.’
The lawsuit identifies this rule as Policy Order 63. However, until now, it was not public.
Clark was denied numerous times for a change, despite providing various documents from her doctors and surgeon.
Eventually, someone from the DMV contacted her surgeon without her permission.
‘I respect them because they’re the government but they have no business to know what I do to my body,’ she said. Still, however, they refused to make the change and her license continues to identify her as male.
‘Unnecessary and harmful’
GSN spoke to ACLU Alabama and Equality Alabama about the lawsuit.
Brock Boone, the ACLU attorney on the case, called the policy ‘baffling’. Neither the federal government nor the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators requires surgery.
‘The state does not have a right to determine which medical procedures a person has, nor can they force surgery on an entire class of people. But even when one of our clients had surgery, the state still refused to change the gender on our client’s license. This discrimination forces transgender Alabamians to out themselves every time someone sees their driver’s license, which puts them at increased risk for violence and harassment.’
Alex Smith, Executive Director of Equality Alabama, also released a statement to GSN.
‘Alabama trails other states in basic equality for transgender individuals, and nowhere is this more apparent than the arcane internal policy at ALEA relating to changing one’s gender marker on state IDs. This directive — Policy Order 63 — is unnecessary and harmful,’ he wrote.
‘The stories of the three defendants in this important case vividly highlight this harm. Equality Alabama is wholly supportive of and stands in solidarity with the three brave individuals, and we hope for a speedy resolution.’