TLDEF and Three Plaintiffs Challenging New York City's Discriminatory Birth Certificate Policy Testify Before The New York City Department of Health

NYC DOH LogoAdoption of Department's Proposal To End Surgery Requirement for Transgender People Seeking to Correct Birth Certificates Would Resolve Lawsuit Against City

November 17 - TLDEF and three plaintiffs testified today at a hearing of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in favor of the Department’s proposal to end the city’s discriminatory transgender birth certificate policy.  Current policy requires transgender people born in New York to undergo surgery in order to correct their birth certificates.  The plaintiffs have sued the Department and Board of Health over this policy in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit challenging the surgery requirement.

The proposed new policy would require transgender people seeking to correct their birth certificates to submit a statement from a licensed health care provider stating that the sex designation on the applicant’s current birth certificate does not match the applicant’s true sex.  The Board of Health is expected to vote on the Department’s proposal at its December 9 meeting.  The New York City Council is considering legislation that largely mirrors the Department of Health’s proposed policy changes.

Read the testimony here:

“An accurate birth certificate is a fundamental form of identification.  Without it, transgender people face tremendous difficulty and discrimination. Yet New York City’s existing policy makes it all but impossible for transgender people to get birth certificates that reflect their true identities,” said TLDEF Executive Director, Michael Silverman. “It requires surgical procedures that most transgender people have not undergone, either because of discriminatory health insurance exclusions that make such procedures unaffordable, or because such procedures are medically inappropriate for some people. It is time to end this policy once and for all to improve the lives of transgender people born in New York City.”