Sunday, May 21, 2017

Oregon Joins The Club

Of states that allow us to change our birth certificate with a letter from our healthcare providers.
Oregon Eases Birth Certificate Changes for Trans People
A bill signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown today will make the process simpler, cheaper, and more private.
The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
May 18 2017

Oregon’s Kate Brown, the nation’s first and only out bisexual governor, is helping to keep the state in the forefront of LGBT progress, today signing a law making it easier for transgender Oregonians to revise the name and gender on their birth certificates.

Under the new law, House Bill 2673A, trans people with Oregon birth certificates will be able to make the changes simply by filling out a form rather than posting a public notice in a county clerk’s office and going to court, making the process easier and more private while greatly reducing the cost, Reuters reports. Oregon is only the second state to put such a procedure in place; California was the first, in 2014. Oregon’s law will go into effect January 1.

“Many transgender Oregonians fear being publicly outed by having sensitive medical and personal information disclosed through the current court process,” said Nancy Haque, co-executive director of LGBT group Basic Rights Oregon, in a press release. “They have to post their name change on a public bulletin board and sometimes answer personal medical questions in open court. This is a real barrier.”
I know of some other states where you have to post in a newspaper you name change, talk about outing yourself! Having to post a legal notice that you are changing your name from John Doe to Jane Doe is letting the whole world know you are trans.

The bill also…
The new law will also lower the cost of the process significantly. It will “entail an administrative cost expected to run just $65, compared to the hundreds of dollars typically incurred to complete required paperwork, plus thousands more that an applicant often faced to hire a lawyer,” Reuters reports. Because of various barriers, only 10 percent of transgender Americans have identification matching their gender identity, according to a 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
In Connecticut it doesn’t cost anything to change your birth certificate but it does cost $30 for a copy of your full birth certificate. For help in changing your birth certificate here in Connecticut see GLAD’s toolkit.

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