California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Law Making Transgender Birth Certificate Alterations Easier

Exciting news out of the Golden State! California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Tuesday that will make it easier for transgender Californians to obtain a birth certificate with sex and name alterations. Previously, a court order was necessary, a costly and public affair that infringed on the wallets and privacy of those attempting to obtain proper documents.  

JerrybrownThe Associated Press

Currently, people born in California can only get their birth certificates amended by court order, a process that transgender rights advocates argued is expensive and needlessly invasive since a legal notice of the requested changes has to be published in a newspaper.

The bill the governor signed Tuesday, AB1121 by San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, authorizes the state registrar to issue a birth certificate with a corrected sex to a transgender person who provides proof of having undergone appropriate medical treatment.

Judges will still have to sign off on name changes, but will be able to do so without holding a formal hearing. The law also eliminates the legal notice requirement.

Congratulations to all those impacted positively by this new law. It is nice to see progressive lawmaking for the transgender community, which also recently saw support from the Social Security Administration. Of course, the California GOP constituency is backing the repeal of the recently passed transgender student protection law, and transgender students around the country are receiving mixed feedback from peers following homecoming queen and king wins. Still, the small steps are exciting and, in many ways, life-changing.