Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-05-25
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Agreement on Illinois birth certificate change for trans people
From an ACLU news release
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-07-30

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has announced a new proposed court agreement expected to solidify a small but important gain for transgender people wishing to change their birth certificates.

Under new rule, transgender people are allowed to update the gender markers on their birth certificates without having to undergo genital surgery. The new mandate still requires proof of gender-related surgery.

The ACLU sued the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on behalf of three trans people last May, claiming that IDPH placed unfair and costly burdens on trans people by requiring proof of genital surgery in order to change their birth certificates.

IDPH issued new certificates to plaintiffs Lauren Grey, Victor Williams and Nicholas Guarino and released new rules that removed the genital surgery requirement.

But John Knight, LGBT project director of the ACLU, said that without a court agreement, the state could have changed the rule back.

"The main thing to celebrate now is that they can't go back to doing something else," said Knight, adding that the agreement will be enforceable for other cases down the road.

But Knight said that work remains.

Not all trans people want gender-related surgeries, and not all can afford them either. Consequently, trans activists have been pushing for years for a policy that offers a non-surgical option for changing the certificates, much like current U.S. passport rules.

Transgender organization Illinois Gender Advocates had been working on changing the IDPH rule internally, but those talks have yet to result in the announcement of a policy without a surgical requirement.

Still, the ACLU court agreement, if finalized, could enforce the state's new responsibility to make birth certificates easier to obtain, an important gain for many transgender people who will now be able to update the certificates.

"Having an accurate birth certificate is critical today," said Lauren Grey, the lead plaintiff in the ACLU case in a statement. "The agreement filed today clears the way for many people born in Illinois to get an accurate birth certificate that will make their lives safer and more secure."

Per the agreement, the State would be required to notify applicants denied since January 2010 of the policy change as well as those denied since 2008 whose records are still on file.

The agreement will be reviewed at a final upcoming hearing.

ACLU news release

CHICAGO — A proposed court-supervised agreement filed July 30 will help ensure that transgender individuals can receive new birth certificates that reflect their correct gender from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Windy City Times is working on a complete report on this change, but what follows is from the ACLU:

The agreement, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, resolves a lawsuit filed in May 2011 on behalf of three individuals who wished to change the gender marker on their Illinois birth certificates after undergoing gender confirmation surgery, but not the genital surgery the State was then demanding.

"This agreement reflects a basic understanding that the government should not be in the business of telling transgender Illinoisans what kind of surgery they need to undergo," said John Knight, Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. "It creates a new opportunity to obtain an accurate birth certificate for many people — including a number of persons who have been denied new birth certificates over the years who have not undergone genital surgery, because they have no medical need for it, are concerned about its risks, or cannot afford it."

Today's filing is the latest development in a case filed in May 2011. Rather than respond to the ACLU's complaint initially, the State a year ago proposed a new rule that did not require genital surgery in order to change the gender marker on the birth certificate. As the rule was being considered by a state legislative committee, the State agreed to issue new, accurate birth certificates to the three named plaintiffs in the case, Lauren Grey, Victor Williams and Nicholas Guarino, who are represented by the ACLU of Illinois. After the rule was adopted, the State moved to dismiss the case, which the court rejected. The ACLU argued that a court-supervised agreement was necessary, since the final rule did not clearly prohibit the Department from resuming the genital-surgery requirement and could be changed at any time in the future.

"Having an accurate birth certificate is critical today," said Lauren Grey, the lead plaintiff in the case. "The agreement filed today clears the way for many people born in Illinois to get an accurate birth certificate that will make their lives safer and more secure."

Under the agreement presented for approval on Wednesday, July 25th, the Department of Public Health would be prohibited from denying new Illinois birth certificates to applicants who seek to change the gender marker on them solely because they have not had genital reconstruction surgery. Additionally, the Department will promptly process and reach final decisions on all pending applications for new, accurate birth certificates. The State will provide individual notice to all persons previously denied a change in the gender marker on their Illinois birth certificate since January 2010, along with those persons denied a change of the gender marker going back to 2008 for which the Department has records. Finally, the Illinois Department of Public Health will publish a statement on their website clarifying that genital reconstruction surgery is no longer a requirement for obtaining an accurate Illinois birth certificate.

For almost five decades, Illinois had permitted individuals who have gender confirmation surgery to change the gender marker on their birth certificate. The Department of Vital Records, however, later began interpreting the law to provide this option only if an individual had genital surgery and if that surgery was performed by a United States-licensed physician. An earlier ACLU case resulted in the State agreeing to drop the requirement regarding the licensure of the physician, recognizing that a growing number of persons selected a surgeon from Europe, South America or Asia. The problem with the specific surgical requirement remained in place until after this case was filed.

"Accurate identity documents are critical for life in modern times," added the ACLU's Knight. "These new birth certificates will accurately reflect who our three clients — and countless others — are, and avoid any potential embarrassment, hostility or harm from being outed to strangers as transgender. Although our ultimate goal is for the State to get out of the business entirely of dictating medical requirements for transgender persons who are seeking an accurate birth certificate, today's agreement represents great progress. It ends an especially restrictive surgical requirement that few were willing or able to fulfill."

The judge in the case will set a date for a fairness hearing, the final step for the agreement to be approved.

Lawyers on the case include Harvey Grossman of the ACLU of Illinois, James D. Esseks and Knight of the ACLU LGBT Project and Margaret J. Simpson, David M. Kroeger and Kyle A. Palazzolo of Jenner & Block LLP.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

VIEWS North Carolina governor's ignorance of trans identity 2016-05-25
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL My child just came out to me. Now what? 2016-05-24
Report: Bathroom bills further criminalize trans lives 2016-05-23
Trans United Fund issues questionnaires to prez candidates 2016-05-23
Demi Lovato Wears Support For Trans Community During Billboard Awards 2016-05-22
23 civil-rights groups back Title IX moves trans students 2016-05-22
UN blocks orgs that rep trans people from AIDS meeting 2016-05-22
ACLU: Chelsea Manning Prosecution Was Unconstitutional 2016-05-22
Chicago mayor, LGBT Caucus introduce measure to protect trans residents from bias 2016-05-18
Latest 'RuPaul's Drag Race' winner crowned 2016-05-17
National roundup: Trans appointment, GLSEN honors, Whole Foods hoax 2016-05-17
World news: Gay convictions annulled, Justin Trudeau, lawyer escapes sentence 2016-05-17
Trans actress Shakina Nayfack, out in the open 2016-05-17
Statement by Obama on the Int. Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2016-05-17
EqualityCon panel addresses trans issues, budget impasse 2016-05-17
Chicagoans react to transgender guidelines 2016-05-15
Groups laud Education Dept. ruling on trans bathroom access 2016-05-15
Trans author Chase Joynt discusses his latest work 2016-05-14
Palm Center Questions Pentagon Claim that Transgender Service "Complicated" 2016-05-13
Trump's 'States' Rights' Policy Assertion on Trans Students Dangerous, Reckless 2016-05-12
Obama's Education Dept. Affirms the Rights of Transgender Students 2016-05-12
Dueling lawsuits filed over N.C. law 2016-05-11
Massachusetts has no trans-accommodation bill, either 2016-05-11
World news: HIV organ transplant, LGBT politicians elected, trans birth 2016-05-10
Trans author makes appearance in Chicago 2016-05-10
ACLU sues to challenge anti-LGBT Mississippi law 2016-05-10
U.S. DOJ sets lawsuit against North Carolina Gov. McCrory 2016-05-09
Groups Respond to Gov. McCrory's Lawsuit 2016-05-09
Gov. McCrory forces HB2 in 9 hrs, wants more time from DOJ 2016-05-08
Video shows parents of trans kids speaking out 2016-05-04
Conservative groups file suit against District 211 and feds in school bathroom case 2016-05-04
BREAKING: U.S. Justice Dept. Says HB2 Violates Federal Law, Gives Gov. McCrory Monday Deadline 2016-05-04
BREAKING: Oxford Ala. Council Retreats, Votes to Repeal Shameful Anti-Trans Ord. 2016-05-04
ACLU responds to filing of lawsuit regarding transgender student locker room access 2016-05-04
AFC joins lawsuit against Rauner and state agencies for breach of contract 2016-05-04
World news: African LGBT campaign, custody win, suicide report, gay imam 2016-05-04
National roundup: GLAAD PSA, Alabama ordinance, AIDS memorial 2016-05-04
Michael Jordan opposes North Carolina's anti-LGBT law House Bill 2 2016-05-04
Chicago Fed looks at 'TRANSitioning in the Workplace' 2016-05-04
Suburb to institute gender-neutral restrooms 2016-05-04
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.