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Groups want health department held in contempt over birth certificate lawsuit

Missoula County

Groups suing the state over restrictions barring birth certificate amendments are asking a district court to hold the state health department in civil contempt.

The state health department announced earlier this month the reinstatement of a rule effectively banning transgender Montanans from updating the gender marker on their birth certificates after the state Supreme Court found issues with a block on it.

Montana’s high court affirmed Yellowstone County District Court Judge Michael Moses’s block on a law regulating birth certificate amendments. That ruling said that the department should have returned to a 2017 rule that allowed for updates.

Instead, the department created the new ban on amendments, but the high court found Moses could not block that ban unless there was a direct complaint against it. A direct complaint is now pending in court.

ACLU of Montana is asking a court to hold the health department in civil contempt, aiming to force officials to rescind the rule.

The state health department declined to comment.

Shaylee covers state government and politics for Montana Public Radio. Please share tips, questions and concerns at 406-539-1677 or  
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