Transgender birth certificate bill moves through Colorado Legislature

March 27, 2015

A bill making it easier for transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificates is advancing in the state Legislature.

Current law only allows people to change their certificates after they’ve undergone reassignment surgery and gotten a court order. This bill would change that process to only require a doctor’s note.

Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs, objected to the bill, arguing that allowing transgender people to revise their birth certificates could hurt them.

"It creates self-doubt about how they born, and that leads to self-confusion, feelings of self-shame," he said.

Witness Eric Klusic disputed that idea. His biological son came out as transgender when she was 16.

"She feels that way in the core of her soul. And this bill allows her to fulfil what she wants to be as a person," Klusic said.

Klusic and other proponents argue that having a birth certificate that doesn’t match outward gender puts people at risk of discrimination and violence. The bill passed committee on a nearly party line vote and now heads to the state House.