Streamlined Process for Transgender Birth Certificate Changes Takes Effect

For Immediate Release

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Amy Wilson, 213-375-5939, amy@outthinkpartners.com

Streamlined Process for Transgender Birth Certificate Changes Takes Effect

SACRAMENTO - As of yesterday, California will no longer require a court hearing or newspaper publication for transgender people to change their birth certificate to reflect their authentic, lived gender identity. The change comes as part of the implementation of Assembly Bill 1121, authored in 2013 by Speaker Toni Atkins and cosponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center.

"AB 1121 is an important step toward protecting the privacy of transgender people and removing unnecessary governmental burdens," said Rick Zbur, EQCA executive director-elect. "We were proud to co-sponsor this legislation with the Transgender Law Center and applaud Speaker Toni Atkins for her leadership."

The first phase of the law, which went into effect January 1, made it easier for transgender people born in California to obtain an accurate birth certificate by removing the requirement that they present a court-ordered gender change in order to amend a gender marker on a birth certificate. Instead, they now have the option to just submit a form and a doctor’s letter directly to the state Department of Public Health along with a $23 fee.

“This bill created a new administrative option for transgender people seeking to amend the gender and/or name on a California birth certificate, eliminating the unnecessary interim step of getting a court order before the State Registrar can change a birth certificate,” said Speaker Atkins. “This part of the new law will also remove the expensive and burdensome newspaper publication requirement for transgender people seeking legal name changes and would provide that a name change that is uncontested must be granted without a hearing.”

“This marks another step toward full equality for transgender Californians,” said Ilona Turner, legal director of Transgender Law Center. “These simple administrative changes are going to make a huge difference for transgender people who continue to face unfair and burdensome barriers to being able to live authentically and free from discrimination.”

EQCA and TLC are currently sponsoring AB 1577, authored by Speaker Atkins, which will ensure death certificates accurately reflect transgender Californian’s authentic, lived identities.

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Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.

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