Illinois General Assembly passes bill to make trans birth certificate changes easier

Thu. June 1, 2017 10:50 AM by News Staff

Advocates urge Gov. Rauner to sign bill to help transgender Illinoisans

Springfield, IL - House Bill 1785, a measure to modernize Illinois law allowing people to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, passed the Senate Wednesday night 32-22. Having previously passed in the House 63-42 on May 25, the bill now goes to Gov. Rauner's desk for his signature.

"The need for this legislation was evident from the heartbreaking calls and e-mails that we have received over the years from frustrated transgender Illinoisans who say the outdated Illinois law prevents them from obtaining an accurate birth certificate," said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

If the legislation is signed into law, Illinois would join fourteen other states and the District of Columbia in allowing people who are transgender and intersex to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without undergoing sexual reassignment surgery.

The bill would allow birth-certificate changes as long as the individual identifies as transgender and is under a doctor's care.

John Knight, Director of the ACLU of Illinois' LGBT and HIV Project, urged Gov. Rauner to sign the bill as soon as possible.

"No one should face the dilemma of being denied a birth certificate that conforms with their gender simply because they are unable – or cannot afford – to undergo surgery that the medical community agrees is not necessary for everyone who transitions," he said. "People who are transgender and intersex should make their own medical decisions with the guidance of medical health professionals—not politicians."

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) were the chief sponsors of the bill.