A New Jersey Senate panel has approved a bill which would allow the state’s health department to re-issue birth certificates to trans or intersex people who have not undergone gender reassignment surgery.
According to NJ.com, the bill which passed on Thursday aims to amend a 1984 law requiring trans people to undergo gender reassignment surgery before they can be issued a new birth certificate to match their gender.
Supporters of the bill said that not all trans people undergo reassignment surgery, with many opting for hormone replacement therapy instead.
The new bill requires people to undergo “clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition, based on contemporary medical standards, or that the person has an intersex condition’, which includes hormone treatments.
Senior Citizens Chairmen Committee Joseph Vitale, who sponsored the bill on behalf of a trans constituent, said “the world is changing.”
He added: “Birth certificates always have been a means of how we traditionally identify a person. In the transgender community, it doesn’t reflect who they are mentally, spiritually and in every other way but physically.
“They don’t argue what they were then, but I am not that person now.”
Jeanne LoCicero, deputy Legal Director of the ACLU of New Jersey, said a young transgender man asked about changing his birth certificate.
Ms LoCicero said: “I had to advise him he could not, because, although he had undergone clinically appropriate treatment, he had not undergone surgery. As a 20-something looking for a job, he could not afford to do that.”
Senator Sam Thompson opposed the bill, but insisted he supported trans rights, saying: “My concern is a birth certificate is an historical document. If you want a document saying you are a lady today, I am 100 percent for it.”
The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved the bill by a 6-2 vote with one abstaining.
The Assembly passed the bill by a 43-27 vote in June.