House panel introduces birth certificate bill that appears to contradict federal court order

A bill to limit transgender people’s ability to change their birth certificates later in life to match their gender identity was introduced in a House committee today. The Post Register reports that transgender Idahoans have been able to change their birth certificates to match their gender identity since 2018, when a federal judge ruled in favor of two transgender women who sued the state over its refusal to let them.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, and Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, would appear to go against the court ruling in that case, which directed the state to accept applications from transgender people wishing to change their birth certificates and forbade it from including a record of the name or sex change on the reissued birth certificate.

Mistie Tolman, Idaho state director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, said the bill is “likely in contempt of court.”

The Board of Health & Welfare proposed a rule in 2019 to require a doctor to sign off before a minor could alter his or her birth certificate, but scrapped it in November due to a procedural issue in its original approval.

While the House and Senate Health & Welfare committees, which like other legislative committees spent much of the first half of the session reviewing the administrative rules governing the departments they oversee, have renewed most of the Department of Health & Welfare’s administrative rules, the rules governing vital statistics remain in limbo. Committee chairmen Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, and Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, said earlier this year they were holding off on these rules since they expected legislation that could affect them.

Post Register reporter Nathan Brown

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