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California Senate Considers Gender Neutral Language for Birth Certificates

California Senate Considers Gender Neutral Language for Birth Certificates

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If passed, the new law would allow LGBT parents more freedom in describing their relationships to their children.

California lawmakers are considering a bill this week that would make birth certificates more LGBT parent friendly, reports the East Bay Express.

If passed, AB 1951 -- which was introduced in February by Assembleymember Jimmy Gomez and is cosponsored by Equality California -- would require the California Department of Public Health to alter the information parents fill out on a newborn's birth certificate. The proposed new language would read "Name of Parent" instead of "Name of Mother" and "Name of Father."

Alongside their name, a parent would then mark the most appropriate box to describe their relationship to their child: "Mother," "Father," or, simply, "Parent." Supporters have pointed out that this language also allows transgender and gender variant parents a means to select the most accurate representation of themselves.

The current, restrictive wording has forced some same-sex parents to inaccurately describe their familial roles, with lesbian mothers signing on as a "Father," gay fathers signing on as a "Mother," or transgender parents sometimes choosing gendered language that doesn't match their identity.

If AB 1951 passes the Senate this week, it will go into effect as of 2016.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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