Ropes & Gray Attorneys Advance Challenge Against Puerto Rico’s Anti-Transgender Birth Certificate Policy

In The News
June 27, 2017
R. Daniel O'Connor ,
Richard D. Batchelder, Jr.

Ropes & Gray, Lambda Legal and San Juan, Puerto Rico-based attorney Celina Romany-Siaca have filed a motion for summary judgment in a case brought on behalf of three transgender people born in Puerto Rico and the LGBTQ rights organization Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, urging a federal court to strike down Puerto Rico’s policy of denying transgender people accurate birth certificates. Plaintiffs are urging the court to compel the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to allow transgender individuals to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates to reflect their sex based on their gender identity.

Puerto Rico categorically prohibits changes to the gender marker on birth certificates even for those whose birth certificate does not match their gender identity. Puerto Rico‘s birth certificate policy is 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.

Defendants – the governor and two officials of the U.S. territory – filed a motion to dismiss on June 12. Ropes & Gray and Lambda filed Plaintiff’s opposition to that motion simultaneously with a motion for summary judgment.

The Ropes & Gray team is led by business and securities litigation partner Daniel O’Connor (Boston) and includes business and securities litigation partner Richard Batchelder (both of Boston).

Ropes & Gray has been recognized for its work assisting LGBTQ individuals with legal questions across the U.S. Ropes & Gray appellate and Supreme Court practice partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier argued the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. Learn more about the firm’s dedicated pro bono efforts here.