Illinois bill to make updating birth certificates easier signed into law

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday signed a bill that would make it easier for transgendered individuals to update their birth certificates.

The bill, House Bill 1785, modernizes the Illinois Vital Records Act and to allow transgender and intersex individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Illinois now joins 14 additional states, the District of Columbia and the federal government in ensuring this access.

Sponsors and advocates celebrated the signing in statements yesterday.

“Transgender and intersex persons in Illinois deserve to live their lives with dignity and safety, consistent with their gender identity,” said state Senator Toi Hutchinson, 40th District. “It is an honor to have worked with so many others to pass this legislation, especially as we see other states and the White House attempt to enshrine discrimination based on gender identity into law.”

Greg Harris, state representative for the 13th District said, “I’m proud to be part of a team in Illinois that is expanding equality and fairness for all our citizens. Especially in a time when so many are trying to roll back legal protections and foster intolerance and hate, it is important that we stand together.”

“Now, transgender and intersex individuals born in Illinois can update their birth certificate, and align all their relevant identification documents, consistent with modern medical standards,” said Equality Illinois Executive Director Brian Johnson. “Thank you to Governor Bruce Rauner for signing the bill into law today and to our chief sponsors Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Toi Hutchinson for their fierce leadership and tenacity.”

John Knight, director of the LGBT and HIV Project with ACLU of Illinois said, “Today, we Illinoisans celebrate a huge breakthrough in making our state a little better place for transgender people as well as their friends, family members and other allies. We’ve joined the ranks of the growing number of states and the District of Columbia that have eliminated their outmoded and unnecessary surgical requirement to correct the gender marker on your birth certificate.”