Bill allows people to identify as transgender without sex change - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Bill allows people to identify as transgender without sex change operation

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Legislation has been introduced that would allow individuals who identify as transgender to change their birth certificates without having to undergo a sex change operation. Supporters say similar laws have now been passed in 19 states and 200 cities across the country.  

Bill sponsor Senator Fernando Esteves explained, saying, "It allows them to do this and make the amendment to their birth certificate without having to undergo the surgical procedure. And so with that, it allows them to live and be recognized as the gender that they identify with, which I believe is inherent in their ability to live freely, and live happily with who they are."

Senatorial candidate Lasia Casil, who identifies as transgender herself, says it's a tool for empowerment that can help lift them up in the face of discrimination. "It is a means for gaining employment, health care, housing and safety. I was fired from a job in 1993 because of these ID problems. Not being able to get a job put me out homeless and working on the street. As many, many people, transyouth are subject to cause they can't get the right ID," she said.

But one woman testified against the bill citing concerns about individuals who have not undergone a sex change who might use the same public restroom as their child. Esteves says the bill requires name change applicants to undergo a psychological evaluation, and a criminal record check.

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