FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2014

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) and Three Plaintiffs Challenging Surgery Requirement to Testify Today Before New York City Council in Support of Legislation to End Discriminatory Birth Certificate Policy

Passage of Legislation to Eliminate Surgery Rule for Transgender People Seeking to Match Their Birth Certificates With Their True Selves Would Resolve Lawsuit Against City


New York, NY - The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) and three plaintiffs will testify today at a hearing of the New York City Council Health Committee, urging the council to pass legislation ending the city’s discriminatory transgender birth certificate policy.  The plaintiffs are part of TLDEF’s first-of-its-kind lawsuit challenging the requirement that transgender people undergo surgery in order to correct their birth certificates. Passage of the legislation would resolve the lawsuit in the plaintiffs’ favor.

The bill (Int. 491 (2014)), introduced by Councilmember Corey Johnson, would eliminate the surgery requirement for transgender people seeking to change the sex designation on their birth certificates, in favor of a statement from a licensed health care provider stating that the sex designation on the applicant’s current birth certificate does not match the applicant’s true sex. The Department of Health also recently proposed regulations that largely mirror the legislation.

WHO/WHAT: TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman and three plaintiffs will testify before the New York City Council Health Committee, urging passage of legislation to end the surgery requirement for transgender people seeking to update their New York City birth certificates.

WHERE: Council Chambers – City Hall

WHEN: Monday, November 10, 2014, 1 PM

WHY:  “An accurate birth certificate is a fundamental form of identification. Without it, transgender people face tremendous difficulty and discrimination. Yet New York City’s existing policy makes it all but impossible for transgender people to get birth certificates that reflect their true identities,” said TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman. “It requires surgical procedures that most transgender people have not undergone, either because of discriminatory health insurance exclusions that make such procedures unaffordable, or because such procedures are medically inappropriate for some people. It is time to end this policy to improve the lives of transgender people born in New York City.”

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