The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appears reversed an Oklahoma County Judge Bill Graves’s refusal to grant a name change to a transgender person, according to a news release Friday.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Foundation, representing local resident Angel Ingram, appeared the Judge’s denial of her application to change her legally recognized name from James Dean Ingram to Angel Renee Ingram.
Ingram lives as a woman and seeks to change her legal name to match her identity, according to the news release.
This is the second ruling from the Court of Civil Appeals reversing such a decision. Judge Graves had denied another person for a name change because that applicant didn’t match his concept of gender identity.
“This ruling represents another important victory that says equality and fundamental rights are not dependent upon an individual’s gender identity,” said Brady Henderson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma and Ingram’s attorney in the case.
Henderson continued by saying, “Judge Graves had disregarded Oklahoma law and fundamental principles of free speech and equal protection by imposing his own philosophy over Oklahomans’ personal right to reflect their own identity through their legally recognized name. The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals did the right thing in reversing that decision.”
“For Angela Ingram, the ruling is less about principles of law and more about getting on with living her life as who she is, not who a judge thought she ought to be,” said Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma.
Ingram, reacting to the ruling, said, “I am happy that I can finally move on.”