I need to add something. Lauren Robinson claims the bill did not change the existing law but it did in some key ways. This is from the Congresswoman here.
Under existing law, whenever a person born in this state has undergone surgical treatment for the purpose of altering his or her sexual characteristics to those of the opposite sex, a new birth certificate may be prepared reflecting the change of gender and any change of name. A petition for the issuance of a new birth certificate is permitted to be filed in the superior court of the county in which the petitioner resides. Existing law requires the petition to be accompanied by an affidavit of the physician documenting the sex change and allows for the filing of objections by any person who can, in those objections, show good cause against the change in birth certificate.
This bill would instead authorize a person who has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition to file a petition in any superior court to recognize the change in gender and, additionally, if applicable, a name change and request for a new birth certificate. The bill would make the physician’s affidavit conclusive proof of gender change if it contains specified language. The bill would delete the provisions of existing law that authorize the filing of objections, and would require the court to grant the petition if the affidavit shows that the petitioner has undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition. The bill would also make related changes.
I agree with the removal of the right of objections. Not even Sandeen should be put through that kind of scrutiny and public nastiness. I know of parents that would do this to their own child. If a doctor says it is done then it is done. The law is the law and that is a good change.
The following is a document sent to me by Lauren Robinson.
AB 433, Vital Statistics Modernization ActWhat the intent of the bill is and how it will be used by some could be problematic. The intent of the bill was NEVER to redefine what F and M mean on a birth certificate from Assembly Woman Robinson's assertions but to leave the decision in the hands of competent physicians which is probably in theory a rational concept. In reality we will find out and it depends on the moral ethics and medical ethics of a physician. I do see a cottage industry potential.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the current law regarding court ordered gender changes and new birth
Since the 1970s California has had a law allowing transgender people to (1) obtain a court order recognizing a change of gender and (2) obtain a new birth certificate reflecting who they truly are. Unfortunately this law contains numerous procedural barriers that make this process onerous and confusing.
What does AB 433, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act do?
The Vital Statistics Modernization Act makes a number of procedural changes to make the process for getting a court order gender change and new birth certificate more accessible. Those changes include:
Clarifying that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit a gender change petition in the State of California. This codifies a unanimous 2009 California Court of Appeal decision on this issue, Somers v Superior Court. Accordingly, this is not a change in a law, rather it makes the law clear to potential petitioners.
Making clear that the law allows for both a court order recognition of a change of gender for any California resident AND issuance of a new birth certificate for a petition born in California. Again, this is not a change in the law but simply a cleanup of confusing legal language.
Including a sample physician declaration that the individual has undergone “clinically appropriate treatment” to obtain a new birth certificate to reflect their gender. This makes the process more clear and conforms California law to the standards set by the United States Department of State for gender changes on passports.
Why is this bill necessary?
For transgender people, recognition of their gender is a matter of basic human dignity. In order to live as their authentic selves in a safe and stable way, transgender people need identification that is consistent with their gender identity.
The Vital Statistics Modernization Act would alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when they have identity documents that do not reflect who they are.Does this bill eliminate the requirement that one undergo surgery in order to get a new birth certificate or court ordered gender change?
This bill ensures that medical decisions are made by an individual’s doctor, not by the government. The bill requires an attending physician to submit a declaration that a petitionerhas undergone “clinically appropriate treatment.” This is the same standard used by the US Department of State for changes on passports and birth certificates issued to US citizens born abroad. This is also consistent with current medical standards regarding transgender health.
Sandeen will still need a physician to provide an affidavit in order to change her birth certificate. I would guess she will use the flawed document her mindless physician from Oregon provided even if he did not intend for it to indicate she has undergone "clinically appropriate treatment". the reason Sandeen is waiting until the new year is quite simple. Nobody can challenge her petition for a new birth certificate after the new year starts and that is quite apparently her primary motivation and in all honesty I do not blame her.
Will some slip through the cracks and get birth certificate changes that should not? Yes they will but that has been happening for quite a while now. Will there be a cacophony of screaming men in dresses clamoring for new birth certificates? I do not believe it is possible although there is the chance of it based on the assumption there are unscrupulous physicians out there. I hope not. Does the simple process of feminization through hormones enable on to change a birth certificate. Possibly under extreme conditions but I do prefer medical professionals making the decision over politicians.
Is this the end of the world as we know it? Not really in my humble opinion. If a physician provides a false affidavit he is still subject to penalty and I would hope they do not. The intent was not malicious so let us all hope it is not abused. Okay, I know it will be abused but by how many?
The simple fact a notarized affidavit is required provides some control. I do believe part of the motivation was for those transsexuals whose conditions prevented further surgery whether that be an FTM brother or an MTF sister. All in all this bill is not the worst bill although I would have liked some clarification over what attending physician can provide an affidavit. Other than that I am not going to get involved in some shitstorm over a legal bill passed legally by a State Legislature. It is the Law now and it is what it is.
The following are the emails I received from those I contacted. They speak for themselves and again I appreciate the prompt and courteous response from Lauren Robinson. I am prohibited from showing the email from The Transgender Law Center. Lawyers will always be lawyers I guess. To prove I received one I will provide the header and trailer information below.
I’m not sure if you can get a US passport before treatment is completed. Under CA state law (including our new provisions in AB 433 that will take effect January 1st, 2012) you would still have to complete “clinically appropriate treatment” before you can petition the court for a new birth certificate. This will require a doctor’s avadavat to the court stating that you have completed “clinically appropriate treatment.” Depending on the treatment prescribed by the doctor this may not require an invasive surgery to still receive clinically appropriate treatment.
I’d like to give you the contact information for the Transgender Law Center, who was one of our sponsors of the bill, they can assist you in the process and walk you through the steps on how to obtain an updated birth certificate. (415) 865-0176.
I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
The individual’s treating physician will make the determination as to what qualifies as clinically appropriate treatment and when that person has completed treatment. I attached a fact sheet from the Transgender law center and a letter from WPATH regarding surgery. The state is not issuing temporary birth certificates. I also attached the updated passport policy. They do still offer the 2 year temporary passport but they do state that they are following the guideline offered by WPATH.
Transgender Law Center
870 Market Street, STE 400
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 865-0176 x 306
Fax: (877) 847-1278
This email message and any attachments are intended only for the use of the addressee named above and contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this email is unauthorized and strictly prohibited. If you received this email in error, please immediately notify the sender by replying to this email message. Thank you.