Connecticut was one of the first states in the country to tell the government, “You do not get to dictate a person’s identity.” However, the state’s once groundbreaking legislation desperately needs to be modernized.

Constitution State lawmakers are considering a bill that would remove a set of burdensome requirements for people to change their gender on a birth certificate—including an extreme condition that someone provides proof of gender reassignment surgery.

David McGuire, staff attorney for the ACLU of Connecticut, said, “Discrimination based on gender identity is abhorrent, immoral and unconstitutional. Connecticut should take all the necessary steps to protect transgender people from the devastating effects of this discrimination. Clarifying and modernizing the requirements for transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificate would go a long way toward doing that.”

Many states including New York, Vermont, California, Oregon and Washington have adopted legislation that eliminates the surgery requirement for changing the gender on a birth certificate. The Department of Health in Massachusetts and Rhode Island recently amended the process for changing the gender on your birth certificate by eliminating the surgery requirement.

Federal policies for changing gender markers on U.S. passports and birth certificates issued by the Department of State for citizens born abroad do not require surgery.

The language of these federal policies aligns with the language in the proposed bill. House Bill 7006 would bring Connecticut’s relevant laws in line with contemporary treatment practices and experiences of most transgender people.

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