California removes surgery requirement for transgender birth certificates

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California’s governor Jerry Brown has signed a law to make it easier for transgender people to get a revised birth certificate.

Previously, transgender people had to provide proof of surgery to obtain a birth certificate in the appropriate gender.

Instead, the new Vital Statistics Modernisation Act requires that transgender people present a medical certification from a doctor stating that they have undergone “clinically appropriate treatment”.

Noah Lewis, staff attorney at the Transgender Legal Defence and Education Fund, said: “A birth certificate is a fundamental form of identification.

“By providing a realistic mechanism for transgender Californians to obtain birth certificates that reflect who they are, the Vital Statistics Modernisation Act will help transgender people avoid harassment and discrimination in areas like employment, where ID is essential to proving eligibility to work.”

He added: “We applaud Governor Jerry Brown for signing this law and congratulate Equality California and the Transgender Law Center for their leadership on this issue.”

Mr Brown also signed a law making “gender identity and expression” a protected category at work, at school, in housing, at public accommodations, and in other settings.