New York allows trans people to change their birth certificate without surgery

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New York City Council has passed a bill allowing trans people to change the gender on their birth certificate without providing proof of surgery.

Trans people will now only need to provide a reference from a healthcare professional stating that their birth certificate does not match their gender identity. It brings New York City in line with the rest of New York State which passed a similar law in June.

The bill passed with 39 votes; four council members voted against and three abstained.

Chair of the Council’s Committee on Health, Corey Johnson, who submitted the bill, said: “Having such a critical document that correctly reflects your gender identity is a basic human right that too many transgender people have been denied for far too long.

“These measures will transform the lives of transgender individuals in so many ways that other people take for granted—from accessing government benefits and health coverage, to getting a job and using appropriate facilities.”

New York is one of only six states, as well as Washington DC, which allow changes to birth certificates without proof of surgery.

Michael Silverman, Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund said: “Today’s action will dramatically improve the lives of transgender people born in New York City. We thank Councilmember Corey Johnson, the City Council and the Board of Health for taking action.”