A Eugene resident’s court case that alleges they were refused the option to identify as “nonbinary” after a judge denied their petition to do so, gained support from Oregon civil rights groups Thursday.
Jones Hollister, who was a 51-year-old school teacher in Lane County at the time of the petition this year, said they went to the Lane County Courthouse in January to get state forms to change their name and their legal gender marker to “nonbinary.”
However, the petition for the change needed to be approved by a judge. Lane County Circuit Court Judge Charles D. Carlson denied this petition.
Now, advocacy groups Nonbinary Oregonians, Basic Rights Oregon and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon have filed a brief in support of Hollister after the case was brought to the Oregon Court of Appeals last week, according to a news release from the groups.
“(Oregon State Statute number 33.460) provides the right to change a person’s legal sex designation, or gender marker, to affirm a person’s accurate gender identity,” the brief reads. “For some, an accurate gender identity is nonbinary — that is, a gender identity that does not fall within the female and male binary classifications.”
The groups go on to argue there has been precedent set in other cases across Oregon to allow people to legally change their sex designation to nonbinary.
“Just that simple thing, being able to put X on your marker and getting that ID that validates you as a human being with basic human rights,” the brief said.
Because of this, the brief calls the judge’s decision to deny Hollister’s petition “erroneous,” and calls for the decision to be reversed.
“The judge told me that he wouldn’t let me be nonbinary,” Hollister said in the release. “I have spent my life marking an ‘F’ on forms, and it isn’t representative of who I am. I am not a female, and I am not a male. I am nonbinary.”