January 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Va. bill seeks to limit gender changes on birth certificates

Gender Conference East, trans, transgender flag, gay news, Washington Blade

A member of the Virginia House of Delegates has introduced a bill that critics contend would make it all but impossible for transgender people to legally change the gender on their birth certificates. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A Virginia lawmaker has introduced a bill that critics contend would make it all but impossible for transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificates.

State Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun County) on Thursday introduced House Bill 431 that states “the designation of sex on a certificate of birth shall only be changed pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating that the initial designation of sex was incorrect due to a typographical error.” The Loudoun County Republican’s measure also references “hermaphroditism or pseudo-hermaphroditism.”

James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, told the Washington Blade earlier this week his organization is working on amending the state code to allow Virginians to change the gender on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery. He said on Saturday these changes would mirror those that have been implemented for passports and Social Security cards.

“This bill is yet another attack on Virginia’s transgender community this General Assembly session,” Parrish told the Blade, referring to HB 431. “It is important for transgender people to have consistency across their legal documents and for those documents to accurately reflect their sex and gender.”

LaRock has yet to respond to the Blade’s request for comment.

The Loudoun County Republican introduced his bill a day after state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) put forth a measure that would prevent school boards and other municipal bodies from banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Attorney General Mark Herring last year said local school boards have the authority under Virginia law to include sexual orientation and gender identity to their anti-discrimination policies.

The Virginia Beach School Board last August added LGBT-specific provisions to the district’s anti-discrimination policy. The Liberty Counsel last month filed a lawsuit that alleges members of the Fairfax County School Board violated commonwealth law when they added sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s anti-discrimination policy.

Gavin Grimm, a trans student at Gloucester County High School, in June 2015 filed a federal lawsuit against the Gloucester County School District’s controversial policy that requires students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their “biological gender.” The Justice Department filed a brief in the case that says Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 requires school districts to allow trans students to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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