News » Local

NYC to Allow Trans Citizens to Change Gender on Birth Certificates Without Surgery

by EDGE

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday December 8, 2014

The rights of transgender New Yorkers took a big step forward Monday when the New York City Council passed a bill allowing them to change the gender on their birth certificates without sex change surgery.

"Without these documents, transgender people are left to present incorrect ID, becoming subject to harassment, discrimination, accusations of fraud, and oftentimes being turned away from receiving vital public services," said openly gay Councilman Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), the bill's sponsor.

The bill, which passed by an overwhelming majority vote of 39 to 5 with 3 abstentions, will do away with the former requirements of surgery or hormone therapy. Instead, anyone seeking to change the gender on his birth certificate will be able to by having a medical or mental health professional complete a form stating that the applicant identifies with a gender different from the one on his birth certificate.

The New York Daily News notes that Many transgender people either choose not to get surgery or can't afford it. The gender listed on drivers licenses and other official IDs is usually based on the birth certificate.

The newly passed bill will make the city's policy one of the most liberal in the country.