The public and costly process for transgender people to legally change the name and gender on their California birth certificate will be streamlined under a law Gov. Jerry Brown signed this week, reports SF Gate.
“Equality California Executive Director John O’Connor said the legislation is “a huge victory for making the world a more inclusive place for transgender people.” It follows several other key bills supported by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community that were signed by Brown this year. The governor has until Sunday to act on 206 remaining bills on his desk.
“AB1121 by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, allows a transgender person to change the name on their birth certificate without a hearing in open court or publishing their request in a newspaper. Court-ordered name changes are a prerequisite for changing other documents, such as driver’s licenses.
“The process for changing a gender marker on a birth certificate will be an administrative process requiring a doctor’s note indicating the person has undergone a gender transition. Ilona Turner, legal director for the Transgender Law Center, said Atkins’ bill was formed out of concerns from transgender people who were “honestly very nervous about being outed” publicly during the name- or gender-change process. The Transgender Law Center co-sponsored the bill with Equality California.
“A bill to increase access for gay and lesbian couples seeking infertility treatments was also signed Tuesday. AB460 by Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, adds nondiscrimination language to fertility coverage provided under some health plans. While nondiscrimination laws already exist, Ammiano said they are not being followed because of traditional definitions of family planning.” To be classified as infertile under many health plans, a heterosexual married couple must have sex regularly for a year without contraception and without a baby to show for it, Turner said. That definition leaves gay, lesbian or single women unable to use infertility coverage when it’s offered under their health insurance plans.
“Reproductive medicine is for everybody’s benefit,” said Ammiano in a statement. Under the new law, the one-year requirement to demonstrate infertility would be eliminated for same-sex couples hoping to start a family. Earlier, the governor had signed Ammiano’s transgender rights bill for students, which allows youths to participate in school activities and use school restrooms for the gender they identify with, as well as a bill by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, that allows family courts to find, on occasion, that a child has more than two legal parents.”