Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Illinois House committee approves bill to ease birth certificate updates

Illinois State Capitol (Photo by Éovart Caçeir
at English Wikipedia)
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House Human Services Committee on Tuesday voted through a bill that would make it easier for trans people in the state to change the gender on their birth certificate.

The committee also held back a bill that would have required trans students to use restrooms for the gender of their birth.

Equality Illinois said the bill, HB 6073, modernizes the standard in Illinois for an individual to correct the gender marker on their birth certificate. This is important to trans Illinoisans because they may face embarrassment, discrimination, and harassment if their core identification documents do not reflect their authentic gender identity.

“It is the same standard that the federal government uses for the change of gender markers on passports,” State Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago, the bill's sponsor, told the Windy City Times. “It is also the same standard that the federal government uses for the purposes of social security, and that a dozen other states have adopted for their state laws.”

Established in 1962, the current standard for correcting the gender marker on a birth certificate requires the individual to first undergo an operation, Equality Illinois stated. Consistent with modern medical knowledge, HB 6073 modernizes the standard to clinically appropriate treatment. HB 6073 makes Illinois law consistent with the standards used by eleven other states and the federal government.

HB 6073 now goes to the Illinois House for a floor vote.

HB 4474, which would force transgender students to use separate school facilities, was sent to the House Human Services Committee's Facilities Subcommittee chaired by State Rep. Robyn Gabel. Equality Illinois is opposing the bill along with the Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Psychological Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, ACLU of Illinois, Anti-Defamation League, and AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

The gay rights group is calling on opponents of discrimination to sign a petition against HB 4474. The petition will be presented to committee members and to the House member who represents each signer. Individuals can sign the petition at tinyurl.com/HB4474-petition.

Equality Illinois is planning an LGBT Advocacy Day on Wednesday, April 13, in Springfield. Registration for LGBT Equality Lobbying Day is at: http://tinyurl.com/2016-advocacy-day.

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