Connecticut bill would make it easier to change gender on birth certificates



HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut is considering ways to make it easier for transgender people to update their names and genders on their birth certificates.

The state already has a law on the books allowing people to change the sex on their birth certificates, as long as they have undergone sex reassignment surgery. But proponents of a bill under consideration this year contend that standard is outdated and the course of care for gender transition doesn’t always involve surgery.

“There are many transgender people, who, like me, cannot have surgery for one reason or another,” said Diana Lombardi, a transgender woman from Berlin, told members of the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee. While health reasons make surgery too risky for Lombardi, the insurance co-pays are too expensive and the surgery too invasive for others.

“Therefore we are stuck with a birth certificate with our wrong gender,” Lombardi said.

Legislation before the General Assembly would allow a transgender person to only provide a written statement from a licensed health care provider verifying that person has “undergone surgical, hormonal or other treatment clinically appropriate for the applicant for the purpose of gender transition.

The committee could vote on the bill as soon as Monday.

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Currently, Washington, D.C., and six states, including Rhode Island, New York and Vermont, have updated their birth certificate standards, similar to what Connecticut is considering, according to the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defender.

Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles already allows transgender people to change the gender designation on their driver’s licenses without proof of having had sex reassignment surgery.

Rep. Matthew Ritter, D-Hartford, co-chairman of the Public Health Committee, is optimistic about the bill’s chances. No one spoke against the legislation during a recent public hearing.

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