Media Contact

Dana Chicklas,

June 30, 2021

DETROIT – The ACLU of Michigan commends Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for issuing an opinion today that states that it is unconstitutional to require people born in Michigan to undergo surgery in order to change the gender on their birth certificate. 

In March, the ACLU and its coalition partners sent a letter to the Attorney General, encouraging her to protect transgender people’s rights and declare this requirement unconstitutional. The letter followed a request by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) seeking legal guidance on the statute.  
Jay Kaplan, LGBT Project staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, has this reaction: 

“We are grateful to Attorney General Dana Nessel for recognizing that transgender people, just like everyone else, should be able to obtain accurate birth certificates. To require transgender people born in Michigan to jump through additional hoops, such as undergoing invasive surgical procedures that they may not want, need, or be able to afford, violates fundamental principles in our state and federal constitutions. Today's opinion allows transgender people to obtain an important identity document that reflects their authentic lives.”