Members of New York's transgender community and advocates are praising the city council's vote to pass legislation making it easier for residents to correct the sex designation on their birth certificates.
The bill, which passed passed 39-4 with three abstentions, will allow transgender New Yorkers to change the birth certificate designation without proof they have had gender confirmation surgery, officials from the Empire State Pride Agenda confirmed to The Huffington Post in an email statement.
City Council member Corey Johnson, who introduced the bill in October, tweeted a photo in praise of the news:
My bill to allow trans NYers to be able to change their birth certs to accurately reflect their gender PASSES 39-4-2! pic.twitter.com/ogySBp5VxB
— Corey Johnson (@CoreyinNYC) December 8, 2014
Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Nathan M. Schaefer said in an email statement, "Today is a proud day for New York City as we celebrate the long-awaited passage of a bill that brings us one step closer to creating a safe and equal place for transgender New Yorkers."
Added Johnson, who is Chair of the Council’s Committee on Health: “Having such a critical document that correctly reflects your gender identity is a basic human right that too many transgender people have been denied for far too long. These measures will transform the lives of transgender individuals in so many ways that other people take for granted—from accessing government benefits and health coverage, to getting a job and using appropriate facilities."
The ruling follows an earlier statewide move in June, which granted transgender people born in New York state (which the exception of New York City) similar rights, Reuters reported.
At present, California, Iowa, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C. do not require proof of surgery before changing sex designation on a birth certificate, according to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.