August 20, 2012 1:26 pm

Statement on Grey v. Hasbrouck

ACLU of Illinois Plaintiff Lauren Grey

Over the past few years, the ACLU of Illinois has been working to ensure that transgender individuals who were born in Illinois are able to obtain an Illinois birth certificate with the correct gender marker.  Recently, we reached an agreement, in the form of a proposed consent decree with the State of Illinois that insures that individuals can obtain a new, accurate birth certificate without being forced to undergo genital surgery that they may not need or want, or that may not be available to them.  The court has preliminarily approved the consent decree. The next step in the process is for the judge to hold a “fairness hearing” on the matter — set for October 23, 2012.  If you believe you are a member of the class of those affected by the settlement (the class definition is listed below), you are permitted to make comments about or objections to the proposed consent decree before it receives final approval.  You can find the details below, or by downloading this PDF.

GREY V. HASBROUCK, 11 CH 17091, Circuit Court of Cook County

Plaintiffs are transsexual persons born in Illinois who were denied a change in the sex designation on their Illinois birth certificate by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) because they had not undergone genital reconstruction surgery. Plaintiffs filed a class action suit on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated persons against the Director of IDPH alleging that IDPH’s denial of their applications violated Illinois law and the Illinois Constitution. IDPH expressly denied that its actions violated Illinois law and the Illinois Constitution.

The Court has certified a class of: All persons with an existing Illinois birth record who are or will be unable to obtain an Illinois birth certificate with the sex designation that matches their internal sense of gender solely because of Defendant’s refusal to issue birth certificates with a revised sex designation to persons who have not had genital reconstruction surgery.

The parties have now reaches a settlement of this case, subject to final court approval. Under the proposed settlement, IDPH will no longer deny applications for new birth certificates solely because the person has not had genital reconstruction surgery. The Circuit Court of Cook County has scheduled a hearing to decide whether to approve this settlement. The hearing will be held on October 23, 2012, at 10 a.m., in the courtroom of Judge Michael B. Hyman, Room 2405 of the Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago, Illinois.

If you believe that you are a member of this class, you may file written comments or objections to the proposed settlement with the Clerk of the Court and counsel for the Plaintiff class. For more information, see a copy of the proposed settlement, read the case page, or contact counsel for the Plaintiff class below:

John Knight
Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU, Inc.
180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 201-9740