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.  


  1. Adrenan P says

    Re-writing history is not a good look and neither is re-writing a birth certificate. I wonder if Jerry Brown is on drugs.

  2. patrick says

    Exciting for whom? This will be a huge headache when they change their minds (which they do all the time).

  3. TheDrDonna says

    PJ: Yes, the Nazis made it easy for disenfranchised minorities to obtain the legal services they needed.
    Adrenan: Changing birth certificates happens all the time, and you know it. Your only problem with this is because of your anti-trans bigotry.
    Patrick: You have no evidence to support that claim. Not to mention, yes, this is way easier than having them go back to court, print another ad in the newspaper for a month, and pay $435 for the pleasure of doing so. Champion level logic you’ve got going there.

  4. Bravo says

    Sorry for the unrelated post, but does anyone know why the comment section is closed on the previous article?

  5. Hagatha says

    I guess it’s not surprising that people who think it’s too much of a burden to show ID to vote have no respect for the integrity of ID systems.

  6. Dave says

    “Exciting news out of the Golden State!”

    OMG, it’s sooooo exciting!! This is such important news for .00001% of the population and maybe 2 readers of Towleroad!!

    Hey, Mr. Ehrman-Dupre, please stop trying to pretend like this is of any interest to the readers of this blog. Towleroad readers are overwhelmingly GAY, not transsexuals. These are 2 different things and no fraudulent conglomeration of letters can change that.

  7. StevyD says

    Who are all these small minded trolls posting such disparaging comments. I thought all the loonies only commented on Yahoo.

  8. StevyD says

    Now that I wasted my time commenting on the rubbish, I heartedly say thank you Governor Brown. You make me proud that I have always voted for you. No one is free until we are all free. Governor Brown certainly understands that, although it would seem that far too many don’t and instead, only care about their own sorry little arses.

  9. JMC says

    I mean really, how many times can one person change their name to post transphobic garbage before they get IP banned? I don’t get why trolls are just allowed to run wild here like they are.

  10. tranquilo says

    Ew. I’m always taken aback by the bizarre hatred that peppers the comments section of Towleroad. I’m assuming it’s a bunch of right-wingers masquerading as LGBT people, and not actual Tea Party-LGBT hybrids.

  11. says

    Weird that some would be so upset by a small thing (one that doesn’t affect their lives in the slightest) to make the lives of transgender people a little easier. It’s similar to how homophobes get so irrationally angry over the idea of two guys getting married when they should be worrying about their own problems. Thank you for your sanity, Gov. Brown. CA is lucky to have you.

    @Dave: If it’s not of interest to you, skip the post. Easy solution. Many of us welcome trans related posts even if we’re not T ourselves. It’s called empathy.

    @Bravo: The Canadian “researcher” post was redone. I assume Joseph took the widespread, justified criticisms to heart. Not sure why the comments are closed but at least it doesn’t read like a NOM puff piece now.

  12. Jols says

    Towleroad really has a trolling problem. Andy, you really have to update your website and get DISQS or something like that so “people” like that can be tracked and BANNED.

    Anyway, yes, exciting news for Californian transgender people.

  13. MaryM says

    Good for them.

    This doesn’t affect me in any way.

    I really don’t want to read so many trans stories. They are dull.

    While I wish the transfolk all the best in their fight, it is their fight. It is not my fight.

    Aren’t there trans news-sites for these types of stories.

  14. Francis says

    Totally agree that there are so many trolls here. All these trans activists come here and post pretending to be gay Towleroad readers. All they care about is pushing their weird transgender crap and making gays do their work.

  15. says

    The beauty of the Internet: if you find something dull, you can skip right over it. Try it! I’ve managed to avoid many a Britney Spears post using this very method.

  16. JakeAZ says

    @MaryM, It IS my fight. I am a gay transman and belong here as much as any other gay, lesbian or bi person.

    And I do not get the trans-hatred from (mostly) other gay men: “DAVE”, “FRANCIS”, “HAGATHA, “PJ”, “PATRICK”, “ADRENAN P” and so forth. Of course, all of these could be “RICK” or any other of Towleroad’s regular trolls.


  17. MaryM says

    Fine – it is your fight as a transman.

    But it has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of you or any other reader of this site.

    I am sick of all these trans stories. I am sure they are interesting to the small numbers of trans people who read them, but trans issues and LGB issues have only a slight overlap.

    I am supportive of equality for trans people, but bottom line is that it’s their struggle.

  18. Fenrox says

    @MaryM, That’s not the way it works, you are a bigot and your bigotry hurts yourself and you gayness. YOU ARE KEEPING YOUR OWN PARTY BACK WITH THIS GARBAGE.

    @Jolis, YES YES YES, Why the hell won’t the racist, troll site owner put in better comments? OOoooohhhhh.

  19. JennyA says

    As you are a member of the Catholicc Crutch MaryM, of course it’s your fight. That’s why YOU can’t help yourself by bashing Trans Folks in these comments. We do not want you here.

    Do you get that? This sight is for LGB and Ts…all of us. You don’t get to pick and choose whom you think is worthy of supporting. WE have already decided that.

    And yes…the LCR Catholic wing of the GOP and Nom-Bots are out here on Towleroad, waiting to pounce on Every Single Post – trying to create a new ‘Culture War’ – the anti-trans war – Because THEY KNOW that they have lost the LGB war AT SCOTUS. Pretending to be US, pretending that WE hate…when we clearly don’t. Same tactic they use against Liberal News Outlets.

    Look how fast the whole hate machine turned away from the Ghey and immediaely started hitting hard n the Trans. Flood the boards with Anti-Trans insults. Hmm? Are tose your new Marching Orders?

    I have a feeling the Honorable Jerry Brown knew exactly that pigs like MaryM and the rest would start up against the Trans. That’s why he has pushed this into place…and fast. To head trolls like you off at the pass. Brown has ALWAYS been way ahead of the class filled with idiots like you. He’s used to battling your prejudices…one after the other…after the other. For nearly 60 years.

    So, head on back under your TROLLBRIDGE, morons, and tell your head troll we all out here ain’t buying your new Discrimination.

  20. says

    I can imagine that the transphobia on this and other threads would only make Andy & Co more determined to cover trans issues, because the comments reveal how much the posts are needed. Again, MaryM, if you’re so bored by T issues, why do you comment on all of them? Your presumptions that the vast majority of TR readers share your biases are just that, presumptions.

  21. Thedrdonna says

    Ernie couldn’t have said it better. Andy, and his fellow writers, continue to post trans focused stories because they obviously believe in inclusion and fighting not only for oneself, but for the entire community. The only people who want to exclude trans folks are conservatives, either inside or outside the LGB communities, and it should be pretty obvious by now that the site owners do not care about those people’s opinions.

  22. Hagatha says

    JAKEAZ – Jake, stick it where your prostate ought to be. Not approving of every hairbrained idea that you come up with is not the same as hating trans people.

  23. ratbastard says

    I’m curious what the purpose of editing a birth certificate to change sex/gender? Look, you were born with a male sex organ, have male chromosomes, you were born a male. Same applies to those born with female chromosomes and sex organ. You want to undergo a sex change is fine with me, good luck to you. But it’s laws like this that can be easily abused in so many ways, some of them nefariously.

  24. Armando says

    It’s about what the role of government should be in our lives, limited to the least amount necessary. Everyone who likes the idea of getting government off our backs and out of our private lives should love this. Bottom line, it doesn’t effect you so STFU.