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Oklahoma

Citing God and science, Oklahoma judge refuses transgender name changes

Monday, September 17, 2012

An Oklahoma judge has repeatedly denied transgender women their petitions for a name change to reflect their female identity, ruling that the requests were made for a fraudulent purpose.

In two separate cases, Oklahoma County District Court Judge Bill Graves has denied the name change request, citing science, DNA, and God’s own desire “for them to stay male,” reported The Oklahoman.

In the most recent case on August 30, Graves denied a request by James Dean Ingram, 29, to change her name to Angela Renee Ingram, and reportedly told Ingram that “you can’t change what God gave you.”

Judge Bill Graves

Last year, Graves told 62-year-old Steven Charles Harvey — who was seeking to legally change to Christie Ann Harvey — that a person cannot really change his or her sex because the person’s DNA stays the same, and because “God created man in his own image.”

“A so-called sex-change surgery can make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more than an imitation of the opposite sex. A so-called sex-change surgery can make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more than an imitation of the opposite sex,” the judge wrote in a seven-page order last year.

“Here, petitioner has not even had the surgery by which his sex purports to be changed. Thus, based on the foregoing and the DNA evidence, a sex change cannot make a man a woman or a woman a man all of which, the Court finds is sufficient in and of itself to deny petitioner’s request for a name change,” Graves wrote.

To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent,” Graves wrote.

“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.”

Graves claimed that a ‘name-change’ would law cause enforcement problems as investigators would search for males based on DNA evidence instead of searching for female suspects.

The judge went on offering that (a) name change would circumvent prohibitions against same-sex marriage laws or could result in someone unwittingly marrying a person “who appeared to be of the opposite sex but was actually of the same sex.”

The Oklahoman noted that five other Oklahoma County judges who handle name change requests said that they routinely grant them in transgender cases.

Graves said he stands by his position. “If you’re born male, you stay male, according to the study I’ve done on DNA. If you’re born female, you stay female.”

In an email last Thursday, Ingram told The Oklahoman, “Soon as I was out of the courtroom I collapsed and started to cry … never before have I wanted more to kill myself.”

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46 more reader comments:

  1. ASSHOLE

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:32pm
  2. Ugh. The people who claim to know what god intended will have a very unhappy surprise when they pass.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:33pm
  3. >judge saying this

    Guess who just broke judicial code.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:33pm
  4. Rule of law? We don’t need no stinkin’ rule of law!
    ..he evidently believes…ugh

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:34pm
  5. Really, what a jackass!

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:38pm
  6. keep the riligious nutjobs outta ofpolitics and life in general uhh

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:40pm
  7. Flaming asshole! Someone should chop his junk off and rename him Mary, so he can know what it feels like to not be all right. And by all right, I mean how I have felt since I could remember and talked about since I was 3 years old. Fuck this guy! This is why some people kill other people. If I find out when this fu@ker dies, I’ll have a celebratory drink.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:40pm
  8. I know some natural born males and just because they have a penis, doesn’t make them men.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:40pm
  9. Knobend.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:41pm
  10. Every American has the unalienable right of alias. This means one can have as many names as one chooses, just as long as name alternatives one uses are not used to defraud someone.
    So the magistrate [all "judges" are magistrates] is a complete bozo and ignoramus when it comes to him not knowing that everyone has an unalienable right to adopt any name of his or her choosing.
    Even Johnny Cash once sung about a boy named Sue.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:41pm
  11. absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:41pm
  12. He doesnt have that right..go to a different judge

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:41pm
  13. Bigoted Asshat!

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:41pm
  14. And he should have his job taken from him

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:43pm
  15. What a Racist Jackass. Judge get a Life. You have NO Fricken business telling people they cannot change their name for what ever reason, So Go Pound Sand.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:43pm
  16. In choosing any number of names, no court has to be consulted with — at all. Leave the courts completely out of one’s name alternatives. If one wants a name identified for the public record, make a Notice of Declaration and Declaration of Name Alternative, with a notarized witness and record it at a friendly county recorder for the record. No court can stop this!

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:44pm
  17. This is what happens when activist judges are appointed or elected. The law has no place in their decisions.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:44pm
  18. There’s a guy who changed his me to Optimus Prime. Ron Artest became Metta World Peace. Judges let those wackadoos get away with that.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:45pm
  19. Separation of church and state prohibites him from praticing law on religion. Forthermore he is constituting expression of individual religion.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:46pm
  20. And another narrow, bigoted mind.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:47pm
  21. How can he do this? I know people change their name and even their sex on their docs. <3 maria <3

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:53pm
  22. I agree with his logic but not his decision.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:54pm
  23. Another so-called “christian” trying to turn our country a theocracy of their choosing.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 6:58pm
  24. Another box of nutclusters heard from…

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:00pm
  25. Activist asshat judge

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:03pm
  26. His ruling comes from a personal prejudice and not of law. If a person of any sex wants to change their name to Tom, Dick or Susan they should he able to without judicial interference. This is what judicial activism *really* is.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:05pm
  27. I can’t even begin to discuss this idiotic and sadly accurate representation of how backward this state is. :-(

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:05pm
  28. I am embarrassed with the beliefs of some of my fellow Oklahomans. How stupid for a person supposedly educated! My first name is Leslie. Any guesses on how many people have said Ms? I lost count!

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:08pm
  29. As soon as he mention religion, his judgement was off! When he mention science you could tell he was lying!

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:13pm
  30. Who pays his salary? I think I smell some lawsuits brewing.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:15pm
  31. Okay Oklahoma is in the USA right? The constitution that provides for the separation of Chruch and State is still in effect, Isn’t It? No matter what his personal beliefs are, the law is the law.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:18pm
  32. He needs to be removed from the bar

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:18pm
  33. He must really enjoy playing god…

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:18pm
  34. Fire his homophobic dumb ass.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:36pm
  35. What a twit…

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 8:00pm
  36. Who made him judge and jury, asshole

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 8:19pm
  37. Why can judges who support the LGBT community for example, in Iowa get to lose their job, while an out bigot judge gets to keep his?

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 8:26pm
  38. People like this shouldn’t be allowed to speak.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 8:28pm
  39. I think for transgender people it’s about making the outside (body) match the inside (mind). It doesn’t matter if DNA states male or female. True if looking for a suspect it make it harder but, this would be an extremely small fraction of the earth’s population. Then his beliefs in God should stay out of his judgements. Everyone should get to have their own personal relationship with God ( or own beleifs ) with out the interference from others.

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 8:33pm
  40. nor cool

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 8:47pm
  41. <.< uh huh..

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 9:29pm
  42. Anyone else want to go to oklahoma & tell this guy how full of shit he is?

    Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at 9:34pm
  43. Where the hell is separation of church and state?

    Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 12:20am
  44. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Reed_Frog Yeah, nothing natural changes gender >.<

    Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 12:43am
  45. He will answer to a higher power when his judgement day comes for being a biggot.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 4:31am
  46. And this is why you should pay attention to local politics… there are MANY things to consider when contemplating transitioning, one person should not have the power to deny a simple name change. Anybody can legally change their name without an issue if it is one of the same sex… this should not be an issue.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 5:03am