Ropes & Gray Secures Summary Judgment Victory as Federal Court in Puerto Rico Strikes Down Anti-Transgender Birth Certificate Policy
the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico granted summary judgement in a federal lawsuit, Arroyo Gonzalez et al v. Rossello Nevares, eliminating a discriminatory policy categorically barring transgender individuals in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico from correcting the gender marker on their birth certificates to reflect their sex based on their gender identity.
The court will issue a separate opinion, but cited in the order that the forced disclosure of plaintiffs’ transgender status violates their fundamental right to informational privacy under the First Amendment. The opinion will also provide a path of recourse to correct the gender marker on plaintiffs’ birth certificates to accurately reflect their gender identity, without revealing their transgender status.
Last April, Ropes & Gray and Lambda Legal filed a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit on behalf of four transgender Puerto Ricans and the LGBTQ rights organization Puerto Rico Para Tod@s arguing that denying transgender Puerto Ricans the ability to obtain accurate birth certificates violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Notably, Puerto Rico’s birth certificate policy was also at odds with the federal government’s policies and with those of 46 of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The Ropes & Gray team is led by litigation and enforcement partner Daniel O’Connor (Picture) and includes litigation and enforcement partner Richard Batchelder and associates Sara Perkins Jones, David Soutter and Bonnie Doyle.
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