MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 1, 2014

Rulings must come from law


— Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves needs to stop attempting to impose his moral convictions from the bench and follow the law.

Graves twice has denied a petition for a legal name change because the person underwent gender reassignment surgery.

Graves denied each petition — filed by two transgendered females — because Graves said the name change would be fraudulent or counterfeit because the transgendered woman was still a man by DNA.

Graves quoted the Bible each time he denied the name changes.

In both cases, Graves cited the book of Genesis: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

It’s obvious that Graves is imposing his morality through his legal judgments.

Many people are uncomfortable with people changing their gender. Many are opposed on religious grounds.

That’s the right of all U.S. citizens.

Graves, the man, is entitled to his opinion. Graves, the judge, is supposed to rule based on law.

Many people point to the United States Supreme Court and say justices impose political beliefs during rulings.

Nominating a Supreme Court justice is one of the most important and influential decisions a U.S. president can make.

Twice an appeals court has overturned Graves’ name change ruling.

Graves knew his first ruling went counter to the law when the appeals court overturned his decision.

When Graves used the same logic for the second time, he was just thumbing his nose at his oath of office.

He is wasting taxpayer money and the time of his court and the appeals courts on a futile attempt to make the world follow his path.

Graves does not seem to understand when he puts on his robe he is supposed to leave his biases and beliefs at the chamber door.