On August 30, James Dean Ingram went before Judge Bill Graves to request that her name be legally changed to Angela Renee Ingram. Angela is planning to undergo gender reassignment.
Her request was denied on the filmiest and most insulting of reasoning: Judge Graves quoted the Bible as his authority. Via NewsOK:
“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.”
Interestingly enough, the DNA code shows God meant all kinds of things for humans; bad eyesight, congenital heart conditions, cancer, infertility and dwarfism. Yet we have medical procedures to remedy each of these. According to Graves’ “biblical” interpretation of the law, all of these should be illegal because it goes against “God’s Will.”
Last year, Graves denied the same request to a different transgender woman and was kind enough to trot out a few non-religious based conclusions as well:
He wrote it could result in someone unwittingly marrying a person “who appeared to be of the opposite sex but was actually of the same sex.”
He wrote it also could hinder crime investigations — causing police officers searching for a male based on DNA evidence to ignore a potential suspect the officers believed was female.
He wrote it also could let someone circumvent the state’s prohibitions against same-sex marriage.
Also an interesting set of objections. Curiously, if we follow the Bible, a man and a woman would not have sex before marriage anyway so how would they know? There goes the first excuse. The police would be able to search legal documents for a legal name change. Without that, simply dressing and living as a woman would have the same result. These are terrible excuses. The third is the flimsiest of all since Oklahoma allows transgender people to legally change the sex on their birth certificate after the surgery. This means they are legally recognized as the opposite sex.
If you haven’t guessed already, Graves is a Republican.
He pretends to be a “constitutional conservative” but, like all Republicans, reinterprets history to match his personal prejudices. These are the religious fundamentalists that abuse their power to oppress minorities under the guise of “religious freedom” but, in reality, are little more than angry and fearful bigots. We deserve better as Americans than to allow such ignorance into out judiciary.