Because the judge who was handling her name change petition decided not to grant it. Why not? Because he objects to people who don’t fall within his definition of gender identity. In fact, the Oklahoma ACLU, who took up her case, reports that this is the second time that a gender-based name change has required going to the Appeals Court in order to allow the change.
Monologuing a bit here, what’s somewhat darkly amusing to me about this case is when I also listen to the recent screeds from religious conservatives that “activist judges” across the nation are responsible for all sorts of terrible injustices – such as ruling for same-sex marriage, transgender rights, or preventing animal abuse. But when a judge can’t even handle a simple name change without injecting his own personal bias, and is over-ruled by the Appeals Court (twice now) – that same crowd pounding their holy books and decrying activist judges is strangely silent.
The whole issue of “activist judges” is a logical fallacy in its application – for instance, the same people I know who celebrated in the streets over the United States Supreme Court’s pro-gun Heller and McDonald decisions decry the DOMA-ending Windsor decision for being the result of a “tyranny of activist judges.” The same thing happened with Lawrence, a vital decision which decriminalized homosexuality in America and which few Americans even know exists.
Even stepping away from the issue of TLGB rights or guns, other vital decisions in our nation’s history were the result of 5-4 rulings. One notable case even the layperson will know of is the Miranda decision, which defines many of our legal rights when we are arrested.
Who is or isn’t an “activist judge” only depends on whose respective ox is being gored.