Cases & Advocacy

Roe v. Herrington

Status: Open

Outcome: Pending

Location: Arizona

Jurisdiction + Case Number: U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

Plaintiffs Helen Roe, James Poe, and Carl Voe are transgender children who are unable to correct the gender markers on their birth certificates because of Arizona’s discriminatory laws.  Arizona requires transgender people to undergo surgery to obtain a birth certificate that matches who they are.  That surgery requirement is particularly harmful to transgender young people, like D.T., Jane, and Helen, because it is not medically appropriate for them to undergo those surgeries at their age.  Having to use an inaccurate birth certificate prevents transgender young people from being able to just be kids and treated consistent with their gender identity. 

On November 4, 2020, NCLR, along with co-counsel Cooley LLP and Osborn Maledon, filed a lawsuit—the first to challenge such a law on behalf of transgender young people—alleging that requiring surgery to correct the gender marker on a transgender person’s birth certificate violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification was granted on August 10, 2023, allowing the outcome of case to apply to all transgender individuals in the state of Arizona who wish to change the marker on their birth certificate but have not or plan not to undergo surgery. With this victory, we can ensure that every transgender person that this law affects – and those that it might affect in the future – will be represented in this case.