(CN) – A transgender California native was improperly denied a change of gender on her birth certificate because she no longer lives in the state, a California appeals court ruled.
Gigi Marie Somers was born a male in California in 1941. Somers underwent gender reassignment surgery in Kansas in 2005.
She got a new driver’s license, which reflected her gender, but Kansas law does not allow for a change of gender on a birth certificate.
Somers sought a new birth certificate from the San Francisco Superior Court, but she was denied because she was no longer a resident of the Golden State.
She appealed, citing a violation of her equal protection rights under the California and U.S. constitutions. Justice Marchiano of the 1st District Court of Appeals agreed that the residency requirement was unfair.
Marchiano, reviewing the applicable legislative history, found “no reason for the requirement that individuals seeking issuance of a new California birth certificate file the petition in their county of residence.”
“Even if constitutional rights were not implicated,” Marchiano added, “we perceive no rational basis for the disparate treatment.”