Some updates on the transgender rights front today. First off, from Washington DC, a bill to make it easier to change your sex on your birth certificate advanced this week. The Washington Blade reports:
The bill, written by Council member David Catania (I-At-Large), is called the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013 in honor of the transgender woman who was murdered in February 2012 while waiting for a bus in Northeast D.C. “D.C. only allows trans people to change their birth certificate if those requesting changes have had sex-reassignment surgery,” Andy Bowen of the D.C. Trans Coalition told the Council’s Committee on Health at a May 16 hearing on the bill. “This surgery costs many thousands of dollars,” Bowen said. “It is out of reach for the primarily low-income transgender population. It is not covered by most insurance policies. And it is not medically safe for some people.” Bowen and other transgender advocates and their supporters told the committee that for many transgender people, surgery isn’t necessary for them to transition to another gender.
In Delaware, the state Senate voted to add gender identity to hate crimes laws. Think Progress reports:
The Delaware Senate voted 11-7 Thursday to approve a bill that will add gender identity to the state’s hate crimes and nondiscrimination laws. This includes protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. It now goes to the House for consideration. When Delaware approved marriage equality earlier this year, the Senate’s vote was 12-9.
And finally, a former Navy Seal who has transitioned gave interview to Andersen Cooper at CNN:
After years spent fighting in some of the world’s worst wars, former U.S. Navy SEAL Kristin Beck says she knows what she wants. “I want to have my life,” she told CNN’s “AC360″ in an exclusive Thursday night. “I fought for 20 years for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I want some happiness.” Beck recently came out as transgender.
One more – a bill in Arizona that would have undone transgender protections in Phoenix has been dropped. On Top Magazine reports:
Republican Representative John Kavanagh’s original bill introduced in March sought to make it a misdemeanor for a person to use a public bathroom, shower, or locker room associated with a gender other than what it states on his or her birth certificate… According to the AP, Kavanagh said that he was tabling the measure for this session after some members in his caucus had expressed concern about some of his proposed definitions.
This one has the potential to create real change. What profession is more macho than being a Navy Seal? And if one of these guys can come out as transgender, who can’t? Slow but steady steps toward equality…