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November 20, 2012

Oklahoma court says name change allowed after sex change

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals says a woman who became female through gender-reassignment surgery has the right to change her name too, overturning a trial court judge who ruled that her new name was misleading.

A three-judge panel said Tuesday that Steven Charles Harvey had not attempted to deceive anyone by seeking legal recognition of her new name, Christie Ann Harvey. Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves earlier ruled against Harvey, ruling that gender-reassignment surgery didn’t change Harvey’s DNA.

The panel said Graves committed a “clear error” by rejecting the name change. In the unanimous ruling, the appeals court said the law does not require people to have gender-specific names and that there are several names that are traditionally used by both men and women.

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