No, transgender folks should NOT have altered birth certificates (Opinion)
Please read the article and not just the headline. It's the only way you'll know where my heart and mind is at on this issue.
A few years ago the LGBT movement dove deep into waters that until then the public barely had a toe in. The issue of transgender people and bathrooms put this group as possibly the last plank of the civil rights movement. Don't let the headline confuse you. I support this community. When the issue came up regarding transgender students and whether they should be allowed to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender with which they identify I sided with them. Courts have already decided separate but equal doesn't fly. Sending a transgender child to the nurse's office bathroom further marginalizes them. The hysteria about sexual assaults occurring if we allow transgender students their bathroom rights was always misguided. If a boy were going to be so depraved as to walk into a girls room and rape somebody he certainly could do that right now. If he doesn't care about the much more serious rape laws imagine how little he cares about trespass law. As far as "seeing something," this talk was also not well thought out. An anatomical girl living life as a boy will still have to urinate as a girl and will not be out in the open at a urinal. They will be in a stall. An anatomical boy living life as a girl will not have the option of urinals in a girls room and will also have to use a stall. Are we so afraid of seeing a transgender student merely wash their hands?
No one should be discriminated against simply because their existence makes us uncomfortable. I accept the rights of transgender people.
However there is legislation awaiting Governor Murphy's signature that will allow a transgender person to go back and alter their birth certificate. This is an official government document. Senate bill 478 (read S478 here) allows amending certificates of birth. It should not be law, and here's why.
S478 specifically states in section 1 part b, "The amended certificate of birth shall be of the same general type as the original certificate of birth, but shall not be marked as amended."
Further, it goes on to say the original birth certificate will be put under seal and can only be obtained through a court order.
In other words, we are allowing a government document to hide the fact that this person was physically born the other gender. The law would be that one could hide their original gender on an official government document even if they did not have sex reassignment surgery but are simply living as the opposite sex. If this law were written in a way that allowed you to change the present gender on your birth certificate by marking that it had been officially amended I would have no problem with it. But as is, this is history revisionism. This is deception. This is an official document that presents a lie as truth.
What would be the harm in having the birth sex stated, then an amendment line with the amended sex stated? This would still be an official government document recognizing by law that the person now lives life as the opposite sex. Are you not proud to be transgender? Are you seeking societal acceptance while at the same time trying to hide it from the world? A transgender person may say they always felt like the opposite sex, but they were not always living that way. If you want to tell your friends, your co-workers, your lover that you were always a woman when your were in fact born a man, or vice-versa, that's your choice. But to ask the government to share in that lie is problematic.
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