Transgender Name Changes Not OK With Bible-Quoting Oklahoma Judge
BY Trudy Ring
September 16 2012 3:47 PM ET
An Oklahoma judge has stirred controversy with decisions not allowing transgender people to change their names legally, claiming they are making the changes for “fraudulent” purposes, in violation of state law.
Oklahoma County district judge Bill Graves, a former state legislator, also has cited the Bible in disallowing the name changes, The Oklahoman reports. Other judges told the newspaper they routinely grant name changes for people who have undergone or are planning to have gender-reassignment procedures.
In an order last year denying a name change, Graves wrote, “A so-called sex-change surgery can make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more than an imitation of the opposite sex.” A person’s DNA stays the same, he wrote, citing a physician he consulted.
“To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent,” Graves continued. “It is notable that Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth ... ’ The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female.”
That order, for Steven Charles Harvey, seeking a legal name change to Christie Ann Harvey, is on appeal. Graves denied another request August 30, for James Dean Ingram, seeking a name change to Angela Renee Ingram. “Ingram recalled that the judge said the name change request was fraudulent because ‘you can’t change what God gave you,’” The Oklahoman reports.
Graves was a Republican state representative before becoming a judges. In the legislature, he pushed for a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. As a judge, he objected to a state bar association proposal that would bar judges from membership in organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and he accused a bar association committee of “promoting the agenda of homosexuals and lesbians at the expense of the constitutional freedoms of judges and the People they represent.”
Oklahoma County includes Oklahoma City, the state’s capital and largest city. Read more here.
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Crime Gay Man Gunned Down in NYC Street, Dies UPDATED: May 18 2013 7:24 PM
- Youth Florida Teen Arrested, Expelled for Same-Sex Relationship May 18 2013 6:58 PM
- Media Legendary Gay Gossip Columnist Michael Musto Responds to Being Laid Off May 18 2013 3:21 PM
- Marriage Equality Vive la France! Hollande Signs Marriage Equality Bill May 18 2013 12:20 PM
- Photography Photos: Cuba Libre May 18 2013 5:29 AM
- Television These 20 Sexy Pics of Stephen Amell Will Hit Your Bullseye May 17 2013 9:00 PM
- Politics Portugal Approves Adoption Rights for Same-Sex Spouses May 17 2013 8:32 PM