NC to issue accurate birth certificates for transgender people without requiring surgery

“This is a victory for all transgender people born in North Carolina that will help enable them to navigate life with safety and dignity.”
Transgender Flag (Photo: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office / CC BY 2.0)

GREENSBORO, NC (WWAY) — Transgender people born in North Carolina will now be able to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates without the need for surgery under a consent judgment issued today by a federal court as a result of a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal.

“I’m pleased to see this day happening, that the State of North Carolina now must recognize us for who we are. It was outrageous and dehumanizing that I was denied a birth certificate just because I didn’t have surgery. We should all agree that everyone deserves accurate and accessible identity documents that allow us to go through life and run errands with safety, dignity and respect,” said plaintiff Lillith Campos, a transgender woman born in North Carolina.

“This is a victory for all transgender people born in North Carolina that will help enable them to navigate life with safety and dignity. We are gratified by North Carolina state officials’ agreement to reverse North Carolina’s policy prohibiting so many transgender people born in North Carolina from having accurate birth certificates. This lawsuit was just the latest step in our nationwide battle to break down barriers for transgender people to access accurate identity documents,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Counsel at Lambda Legal.

Under the consent judgment, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and other state government officials must provide accurate birth certificates that reflect an applicant’s sex, consistent with their gender identity, without having to undergo surgery.

The court-issued judgment sets forth the process by which people born in North Carolina can correct the sex designation on their birth certificates.

Specifically, a transgender person born in North Carolina may correct the sex designation on their birth certificate by submitting a sworn statement, accompanied by 1) a passport; 2) a state-issued ID, such a driver’s license; or 3) certification issued by a licensed healthcare professional, social worker or case manager – that confirms the person’s gender identity.

More information about when the new process comes into effect will be forthcoming.

“I am happy that I will finally have an accurate birth certificate that reflects who I am. Now I don’t have to worry about an inaccurate birth certificate causing a difficult or unsafe situation for me in the future. It is great to know that North Carolina respects me and other trans people for who we are,” said 17-year-old plaintiff C.B.

According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, almost one-third of transgender individuals who showed an identity document with a name or gender marker that conflicted with their perceived gender were harassed, denied benefits or services, discriminated against, or assaulted.

Transgender individuals also are disproportionately targeted for hate crimes.

You can read more on the case by clicking here. 

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