Illinois law allows residents to change gender on birth certificates without medical note



(The Center Square) – Those in Illinois who choose to identify by a gender different than what’s on their birth certificate can now change their birth certificate without a medical note. However, some believe the state is going too far.

House Bill 9 was first filed in 2021 and was amended and passed earlier this year before the 102nd General Assembly adjourned in January to make way for the 103rd General Assembly. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the law in February with an enactment date of July 1.

“Here in Illinois, we recognize that gender transition is a personal journey that doesn’t always follow a prescriptive medical path, but still deserves to be honored legally,” Pritzker said in a statement announcing the bill being signed. “In a time of increasing violence and hateful rhetoric against the trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming community, it is more important than ever to reaffirm our state’s commitment to recognizing the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ Illinoisans.”

The law allows individuals born in Illinois to self-identify for gender marker corrections on their birth certificate, without requiring medical treatment or gender surgery.

Equality Illinois, a group that promotes civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgender Illinoisans, supported the measure.

“Many states across the country are advancing hateful, harmful, and discriminatory anti-trans policies,” Director of Communications Myles Brady Davis said in a statement. “But this law, which advances the state’s commitment to equality and inclusion, reduces barriers, and will help trans and gender-expansive people be safer as their authentic selves.”

Pritzker said the law supports those who seek to affirm how they feel while using government documentation.

“Following this year’s Pride Month, I couldn’t be happier that we are making it easier for Illinoisans to change the gender listed on their birth certificate,” said Pritzker. “Our trans, nonbinary, gender non-conforming and intersex neighbors deserve to have documentation that affirms their identity without having to jump over dozens of bureaucratic hurdles. After all, this is the Land of Lincoln and Obama, and here, we welcome members of the LGBTQ+ community as they are.”

Some Republican lawmakers have questioned the state’s agenda in passing the law. State Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Dietrich, told The Center Square that this is the Democrats pushing their agenda onto the people of Illinois who he said do not support those ideas.

“This woke agenda, this social wokeness, everything the left is pushing. Unfortunately, this bill does not surprise me and I expect many others to follow,” Niemerg said. “I think the people of Illinois vastly oppose this.”

In order for an individual to apply for the name change, they must submit by regular mail a signed and notarized affidavit of correction, a copy of their current ID and a $15 fee for processing to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Niemerg said people in Illinois are getting tired of arguing over things he views as absolutes.

“I think the vast majority of Illinoisans see this for what is is,” Niemerg said. “We are at the point where we ask what are we going to argue about next? What color the sky is? Or whether water is wet? There’s two sexes, a boy and a girl and that is all there is too it.”

Previous law required Illinois residents to provide certification from a health care professional that the individual had undergone gender reassignment surgery or other clinical treatment in order to change the gender on their birth certificate.

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