Montana officials to process birth certificate gender changes after judge threatens contempt charges

Officials in Montana, says Judge Michael Moses, have engaged in "legal gymnastics" and "calculated violations" to avoid complying with an earlier court order to update transgender people's birth certificates. Moses issued what the AP described as a "scathing" new order. The Republican-run state immediately promised to defy it, then changed its mind. Why? The threat of contempt charges.

The state, Moses wrote, engaged "in needless legal gymnastics to attempt to rationalize their actions and their calculated violations of the order." He called the state's interpretation of his earlier order "demonstrably ridiculous." … Ebelt did not respond to an email asking when the state might start processing applications. Rate did not know how many people have sought to correct their birth certificate in recent months, but he was aware of people who had contacted the court after the April injunction and up through Monday.

They will do whatever they please, no matter how illegal, no matter what the courts or anyone else says, right up until the point of imminent coercion.