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US: Washington DC bill could make legal birth certificate gender alterations easier

Joseph McCormick February 20, 2013
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A bill introduced on Tuesday could make it easier for transgender residents of Washington DC to legally alter the gender on their birth certificate, by eliminating the need for a court order to do so.

The bill was introduced by council member David A Catania, and under it, a resident would be able to legally change the sex displayed on their birth certificate with a signed affidavit from a doctor.

The affidavit would indicate the gender the person wanted to be identified as. Currently the law requires a court order before such a change could be made.

Catania said he hoped the legislation would pass, in order to remove stigmas still currently associated with gender reassignment.

He said that the current process was too long, and outdated, and that the change would bring the District in line with 19 other states, and New York City, reports the Washington Post.

As well as making the process simpler, the bill would mean that the Vital Records Division would be required to issue a new birth certificate with the correct gender displayed, as opposed to marking the existing certificate with “amended”.

The 13-member council will vote on the bill later this year, although it has six co-sponsors, meaning it is highly likely that it will pass.

A campaign of adverts, the first of its kind, launched in Washington DC in September, with a view to increasing awareness and understanding of the “non gender-conforming” community of the city, as well as reducing hate crimes. 

Earlier this week, it was announced that birth certificates in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) could soon be more inclusive of transgender and intersex people, by ceasing to require gender reassignment before allowing people to alter the gender on a birth certificate.

More: Americas, birth certificate, gender reassignment, stigma, Trans, Transgender, US

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