Oregon judge rules state must allow man to change his gender to ‘non-binary’
PORTLAND, OR, June 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In what is believed to be the first ruling of its kind, a judge has ruled that the state of Oregon must recognize “non-binary” as a gender, alongside male and female.
Oregon Circuit Judge Amy Holmes Hehn granted a legal motion allowing Jamie Shupe to change his gender identity from “male” to “non-binary.”
Shupe, a 52-year-old retired Army sergeant, has had gender reassignment surgery but uses the prefix “Mx.”
“My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology,” Shupe told local media. “I consider myself as a third sex.”
Shupe said he always felt this way, but he could not explore his multiple sexual identities during childhood, nor during at 15-year stint in the military
“It was like a Pandora's box that I couldn't open,” he told the New York Times.
Shupe sought out Portland for its support of transgender people and petitioned the Multnomah County Circuit Court for legal recognition on April 27.
Judge Hehn ruled in his favor last Friday.
“This is a family court judge who performs weddings for a fee,” Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, told LifeSiteNews. “In her ruling, this judge claimed 'no person has shown cause why the general judgment should not be granted.' Perhaps that is because no sane person was given an opportunity to do so.”
Transgender activists celebrated the ruling, saying it lays the legal groundwork for leveraging future victories against the state.
"This is an important step toward ensuring that non-binary members of our community have access to identity documents that reflect who they are, just like everyone else," Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center, told the Daily Dot.
The ruling was a step forward for a new political movement: transgender, gender nonconforming, and intersex people (TGNCI), according to Sasha Alexander of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a New York-based legal firm that specializes in legal aid to transgender people.
The New York Human Rights Commission officially recognized 31 separate genders this year, threatening to fine violators $250,000 for “maliciously” misstating another person's gender.
“Clearly, the ruling opens the gender anarchy floodgates even wider,” Lafferty told LifeSiteNews. “For the transgender activists to be reaching into a family court with no real authority for precedent demonstrates the extremes they are willing to go.”
Shupe hope it opens the doors further yet.
"I hope the impact will be that it opened the legal doorway for all that choose to do so to follow me through,” he told the Daily Dot. “We don't deserve to be classified improperly against our will."