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Naming names



Credit: Brad Gregg

District Judge Bill Graves has thus far denied two transgender individuals’ requests to change their names to something denoting feminine identities, despite Graves’ colleagues regularly granting such requests, according to a recent story in The Oklahoman.

Graves’ refusal isn’t a surprise for anyone who remembers his 24 years as a state representative staunchly opposed to anything that smacked of gay rights. It’s not for nothing that his former legislative seat is now held by Sally Kern.

In Graves’ deliberations, he sought an “expert opinion” on whether a sex change would change a person’s DNA in such a manner as to determine gender, according to The Oklahoman.

Sex changes do not alter DNA, of course. And so, as the newspaper reported, Graves concluded that a name change to something more feminine would be fraudulent.

Which caught us off guard, because we at Chicken-Fried News always assumed that when a married woman takes the last name of her husband, her DNA instantly transforms to make her genetically related to her hubby’s family.

If that weren’t the case, thankfully, we’re sure Judge Graves would be the first to point out that the woman was committing fraud by feigning relations.

Anyhoo ...

That “expert” who gave Graves an “expert opinion” on the matter? That would be none other than Broken Arrow doctor and state Rep. Mike Ritze. You might remember Ritze as the guy who wanted to allow a monument — or a graven image, if you will — of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the State Capitol.

Not solely satisfied with such “expert” advice, Graves also turned to the ultimate authority on science and ethical issues: the first book of the Bible.

In one ruling denying a transgender person a name change, according to The Oklahoman, Graves
wrote, “To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that
which is fraudulent. It is notable that Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God
created man in his own image in the image of God created he him; male
and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto
them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…’ The DNA code
shows God meant for them to stay male and female.”

Which got us thinking: Remember when there were all those fears of religious law infiltrating Oklahoma’s court system?

Oh, wait. That was Sharia law. Totally different story.

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