The New York City Council passed two bills on Monday that will make it easier for transgender New Yorkers to change the sexual designation on their birth certificate.
The first bill, sponsored by Corey Johnson, a Manhattan Democrat, eliminates the requirement that transgender people prove they've had "corrective surgery" before changing the designation on their birth certificate.
Anyone wishing to change the sex designation on their birth certificate can do so by having a medical or mental health professional fill out a form acknowledging that the changed designation more accurately reflects the applicant's sex or gender identity.
The bill passed, 39-5, with three abstentions.
The second bill, also sponsored by Johnson, creates an advisory board to examine the best ways to implement the new law, this bill passed, 43-3, with with one abstention.
On Tuesday, the city's Board of Health will take up an identical measure, which has the support of the city's health department.
The reason the Council and Board of Health are taking up the measure is so there is no doubt as to which body has the legal authority to implement the change.
Birth records are managed by the city's health department and, the Board of Health has typically filled this role, but their legal powers were called into question when the state Court of Appeals ruled the board's move to regulate the size of certain sugar-sweetened beverages exceeded its authority. The so-called soda ban should have come from the council, the state's highest court ruled.
Having both the Council and the board approve this change eliminates the possibility of any future litigation.
Congratulations to NYC for continuing to be a progressive beacon for the rest of the world.
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