State court allows transgender Oklahoman to change name

The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals reversed a 2012 ruling by a district judge that denied a name change for a transgender Oklahoman. James Dean Ingram is now allowed to change to Angela Renee Ingram.
by Graham Lee Brewer Modified: March 21, 2014 at 10:04 pm •  Published: March 21, 2014
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An Oklahoman seeking a sex change has been allowed a name change by the state Court of Civil Appeals.

James Dean Ingram, 31, was denied the ability to be legally recognized as Angela Renee Ingram in 2012 by District Judge Bill Graves. It was the second time Graves had denied such a request, ruling in both instances they were made for a fraudulent purpose.

In 2010, Graves concluded a person cannot really change his or her sex because the person’s DNA stays the same.

“A so-called sex-change surgery can make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more than an imitation of the opposite sex,” the judge wrote in a seven-page order.

“To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent,” Graves wrote.

What court ruling means

On Friday, the Court of Civil Appeals reversed Graves decision, exactly as it had done for his first name change denial, allowing Steven Charles Harvey to change to Christie Ann Harvey in 2012.

The denial by Graves was an unusual one, said Brady Henderson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. Several Oklahoma County judges told The Oklahoman in 2012 they routinely grant name change requests by transgender individuals.

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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
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