(Feb. 6) — A bill sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo that will allow transgender Coloradans to change the gender on their birth certificate and other official identification  documents without undergoing surgery or appearing in front of a judge passed the House Health and Insurance Committee today.

“This bill is about personal freedom,” said Rep. Esgar, co-chair of the LGBTQ caucus. “It is my hope that this is the last time these brave Coloradans need to come testify, to share their stories and bare their souls to you. Let’s put this down in law and make life a little bit easier for our fellow Coloradans.”

Current law requires transgender Coloradans to undergo surgery and then appear in front of a judge to prove the surgical procedure before they can update the gender on their birth certificate. They are then given an amended version of their birth certificate which can sometimes force a transgender person to out themselves when asked why their birth certificate is amended.

This bill will grant them an entirely new birth certificate, without going through cumbersome and expensive hurdles like surgery or appearing in front of a judge, to have their documents match their gender identity. HB19-1039 also removes this publication requirement, making the process safer and more private.

Rep. Titone in her closing statement during the committee hearing: “A year ago, I sat next to Rep. Esgar on this bill to testify. This bill was never for me, it’s for young people – they go through a lot of abuse. They have to look over their shoulder and always wonder who’s going to be on their side and who’s not.  I thank you for bringing this bill again and I am so happy to be on this committee today to vote yes on this bill. I do not want to see this bill in committee again. I want to see it put into law.”

HB19-1039 will allow transgender Coloradans to change the gender designation their birth certificate to male, female or X, to correspond with their gender identity. The X gender marker does not stand for intersex, it  means that the individual does not identify as male nor female. Current law also requires a person to file legal notice in a newspaper three times and include their current name and proposed new name before they can change it; this bill removes that requirement.

The bill passed the committee on a vote of 7-4 and now heads to the House floor.

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