New standards for changing gender on birth certificate proposed in IL

Published: Feb. 17, 2016 at 12:31 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2016 at 12:46 AM CST
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ILLINOIS (KFVS) - A bill recently proposed in the Illinois House of Representatives could strip a decades-old law requiring people to show proof of a sex change in order to change their gender on their birth certificates.

Current Illinois law requires a person to receive a sex change before a person can change their gender on their birth certificate. A recently proposed bill, House Bill 6073, would allow people to do just that.

For transgender or people who identify with a different gender than they were born with, those surgeries can be costly and aren't always necessary, Michael Ziri, the Director of Public Policy with Equality Illinois, said.

The proposed legislation would allow gender changes to birth certificates if a doctor signs off that a person received clinical treatment matching modern standards, Ziri said.

"The barrier wouldn't be surgery anymore," Ziri said.

The Director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Nathan Stephens, said the proposal is a good step forward.

"We still are not fully inclusive in terms of the LGBTQ community or any other marginalized identities," Stephens said. "And so there is still work that can be done in terms of like the fact that this legislation is moving forward."

11 other states have similar standards in place. According to a 2011 study by the Williams Institute, there are an estimated 700,000 transgender people living in the United States.

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