Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Misinformation on Birth Certificates

Over on one of the leading Gender Fascist's blogs, in the middle of a very nasty debate, another Gender Fascist made a very hateful comment about HBS women, referring to them as having "after-market (insert “fake”) vaginas." This fellow went on to say, "The new vagina can only get your birth certificate changed in only 47 states. However, in those same 47 states, you can also get it changed with an orkie, because as you say, that is the “primary sex organ.” The doctors consider that a “gender altering operation.” I know several trans women who only have an orkie and are just as legal as any HBS person."

Now, in the same comment, this gentleman also asserts, "...are you aware that after many years of hormones, a trans woman’s penis shrinks the size of that of a pre-pubesent boy and no longer works, or is no longer sensitive? I know of some trans men whose clitoris has grown to the size that my penis has shrunk to. We’re meeting somewhere in the middle."

Now, as ridiculous, and admittedly hilarious, as the above is, it does contain some serious, and potentially harmful, misinformation.

No it is true that there are three states, Ohio, Tennessee, and Idaho that will not make any change of sex on a birth certificate. There are ongoing efforts to change these laws. In the rest of the states, exactly what is changed, and how that change is represented varies. Some states actually add a note in the margin noting the change, others issue a new birth certificate and seal the old one.

But what is seriously bad information above, is the claim that all 47 states will accept an orchidectomy as being sufficient to change the birth certificate. That is not remotely true. It is true that some have found doctors who are willing to issue misleading documents, and who have then used those documents to illegally change their birth certificates. I knew one person, some years ago, you went so far as to actually forge a doctor's statement and use that to have "her" driver's license changed in Alabama (they will not change the sex marker on a license until after SRS).

Now, the Gender Fascist in question takes a statement by Harry Benjamin, and uses that to make a claim that is both misleading and dangerous. In strictly medical terms, the testes and ovaries are referred to as the "primary" sex organs. This has a rather specific meaning, and has nothing to do with the questions above. In the eyes of the law, a penis equals male, whether or not the testes have been removed. Trying to get around that can result in a charge of perjury.

Now, there have been some rare cases, I know of one alleged to have happened in California, where a judge has knowingly allowed the change of a birth certificate where full surgery has not occured. That ruling is of questionable legality, but the person involved was honest with the judge, and would not be subject to legal penalties. The order might be overturned, but that is about all that could happen.

But if someone goes to court, and knowingly files a misleading statement, they, and the doctor issuing the statement that sex altering surgery has taken place, could be subject to perjury. An orchidectomy simply does not change the sexual characteristics of a person. But, this is the sort of thing that gender deconstructionists wish to push. The person who made these statements has made it clear that he does not intend to seek surgery. He believes that one can simply declare oneself to be a man or a woman, regardless of one's physical sex.

1 comment:

sue_ann_robins said...

Wonderful blog. Thank you.