Illinois House Advances Bill Easing Gender Change On Birth Certificates

May 26, 2017

Illinois House lawmakers voted to update state birth certificate laws for transgender residents.  

Current law allows a transgender person to change the official record of gender designation, but only after undergoing sexual reassignment surgery. However, Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago notes the law should reflect modern medical standards, which don't require the operation. 

"This also conforms Illinois law with the same requirements that are used by the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department for passports, and the Social Security Administration for Social Security cards," he said.  

Harris also noted gender reassignment surgery is not undertaken lightly. 

"This is a process that takes many years and takes many thousands of dollars," he said. "It requires a lot of consultation and a lot of therapy to make sure that folks are making the correct decision."

The bill would allow birth-certificate changes as long as the individual identifies as transgender and is under a doctor’s care.  

Having passed the House, the bill now advances to the state Senate.