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Birth certificate gender change wins initial Colorado House approval

Birth certificate gender change wins initial Colorado House approval
Colorado state capitol in Denver.Photo:
Colorado state capitol in Denver.
Colorado state capitol in Denver.

DENVER — A bill to allow transgender people to change the gender listings on their birth certificates without undergoing gender-reassignment surgery passed its first test Thursday in the Colorado Legislature.

The bill would also allow people to have their original birth certificates sealed, instead of having them marked to say that the gender has been changed.

“This new birth certificate is about respecting the privacy of the individual,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City.

The bill passed 8-5, but not before some uncomfortable moments when a conservative Republican said that changing gender on a birth certificate without surgery is fraud.

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“It’s one thing to ask someone to pretend. It’s another thing to ask the government to agree with that pretense,” said Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs.

The remarks brought an emotional rebuke from a transgender woman who supported the bill. “I don’t sit in front of you as a fraud. I don’t sit in front of you as a liar. I sit in front of you as a woman who wants her birth certificate to reflect that,” said Sara Connell of Boulder.

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