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Transgender rights victory in Vermont

May 25, 2011

Congratulations to advocates in Vermont, and a special thank you to Rep. Bill Lippert and state health officials, who worked on tremendously important legislation relating to gender changes on birth certificates.

Although some other states allow gender changes without proof of surgery in their policies, Vermont becomes the very first to have clear language in its statute that makes clear surgery is not necessary to update one’s birth certificate.

It was our pleasure to provide consultation, along with GLAD, on state-of-the-art language in the statute so Vermont could modernize this law.

The trend against requiring surgery for identity documents is growing, with many states abandoning old-fashioned surgery requirements. The Department of State modernized its policy on passports in 2009. And, the policy for “Consular Reports of Birth Abroad,” which are federal birth certificates for U.S. citizens born outside of the U.S., also no longer requires proof of surgery.

A similar bill is being considered in California and advocates are working in other states as well. For many years, gender on driver’s licenses in many states has not been dependent on showing medical treatments.

The Task Force’s Transgender Civil Rights Project can assist you in your state to modernize your driver’s license and/or birth certificate law or policy. To  learn more, contact Lisa Mottet, director of the Transgender Civil Rights Project, at lmottet@thetaskforce.org.

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