May 15, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Trans birth certificate bill set for hearing
D.C. Council, Phil Mendelson, David Catania, Washington Blade, Gay News

D.C. Council members Phil Mendelson and David Catania (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Two D.C. Council committees were scheduled to hold a joint hearing Thursday, May 16, on a bill that would enable transgender people to obtain a new rather than amended birth certificate to reflect their new gender.

The JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013 was co-introduced by seven Council members, including Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) and Council member David Catania (I-At-Large).

Another five Council members, including Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, leaving Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) as the only one on the 13-member Council not to either introduce or co-sponsor the bill.

The bill calls for amending the city’s Vital Records Act of 1981 “to require the Registrar to issue a new certificate of birth designating a new gender for any individual who provides a written request and signed affidavit from a licensed health-care provider that the individual has undergone a gender transition, to require that an original an original certificate be sealed when a new certificate is issued.”

The bill also exempts an individual from an existing city law requiring that a name change application be published in a local newspaper if the name change is “requested in conjunction with a request to change the individual’s gender designation.”

Representatives of the D.C. Trans Coalition, which has taken the lead role in lobbying for the bill, and the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, were expected to testify at the hearing and to call for some changes in the bill’s wording.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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