House Approves Bipartisan “Jude’s Law”

Esgar bill allowing ease for transgender Coloradans to change ID documents heads to Senate

(Feb. 15) — A bipartisan 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, also known as “Jude’s Law,” passed the House today.

“This bill is about personal freedom,” said Rep. Esgar, co-chair of the LGBTQ caucus. “Not having updated ID documents interferes with the ability of transgender Coloradans to live their lives openly and honestly and to be their authentic selves.”

The bill was also changed today to the title Jude’s law, named after Jude, a transgender student who has testified in support of this bill every year for the last four years. The amendment was approved with bipartisan support by a vote of 46-17.

“Jude has testified at the capitol in support of this legislation for years now. We have watched her grow up in front of our eyes. She has been simply asking this legislature to give her the ability to live her most genuine life,” Rep. Esgar concluded.

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.

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 House with bipartisan support with a final vote of 41-22 and now heads to the Senate.

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