Colorado may soon allow transgender people to receive new birth certificates without getting gender confirmation surgery.
House Bill 19-1039 passed a Colorado House committee on Wednesday (February 6).
It would also strike down the current regulation that forces transgender people to give public notice of their name change, according to The Denver Post.
The legislation has now passed through a House committee five times, only to fall in a Senate committee on every occasion. However, unlike in previous years, the Democrats now control the State House and Senate.
The bill would also apply to minors, if they are able to get signed approval from a parent and medical provider.
Colorado activists and lawmakers speak out in support of transgender bill
Democratic representative Daneya Esgar, who is co-sponsoring the bill for the third consecutive year, told local news channel KOAA: “This is literally just helping people be safe and live the life that they choose to live in Colorado, it’s about being free to be who you are and your private information staying private.”
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She added: “If you hand someone a birth certificate and it’s marked amended, they want to know what’s wrong with it, and there’s nothing wrong with it.”
Esgar announced that she planned to rename the bill “Jude’s Law” after a 12-year-old girl who has testified in favour of the legislation before House and Senate committees for each of the past four years.
Jude’s mother, who was sitting in the front row of the House at the time, began to cry at the news.
Brianna Titone, a Democratic representative who is Colorado’s first transgender lawmaker, also shed tears while recalling how many times the legislation has failed.
“I thank you for bringing this bill again,” she said, according to The Denver Post.
“For half my life now this small piece of paper has loomed over me”
— Colorado transgender activist Lukas O’Bryne
“I am so happy to be on this committee today to vote yes on this bill. I do not want to see this bill in committee again. I want to see it put into law.”
The Colorado House committee also heard from transgender activist Lukas O’Bryne, who said: “For half my life now this small piece of paper has loomed over me.”
He added that he can’t afford the gender confirmation surgeries required by law to change his birth certificate, and that “after the process of changing my name and all of its embarrassments, I’d rather pretend I don’t have a birth certificate at all.”