The Texas Senate has initially approved a bill to prevent transgender and nonbinary Texas minors from amending their birth certificate with their gender identity.
Senate Bill 162, introduced by Lubbock-based Republican state senator Charles Perry, would mandate that a person’s birth certificate disclose the sex assigned at birth and place restrictions on when this information can be modified for minors. Very few exceptions are listed in the plan.
Trans and nonbinary Texas adolescents, according to LGBTQ campaigners, would be unable to amend their birth certificates and, consequently, other government documents, such as those needed for identification for education, travel, and employment, with their gender identity.
Despite these risks, Ash Hall, a policy and advocacy strategist on LGBTQ rights with ACLU Texas who also testified against the bill at its committee meeting, said that this idea might prevent people from enrolling in school, taking part in extracurricular activities, and applying for a passport.
According to Hall, changing a minor sender on a birth certificate is drawn out and complicated. According to a handbook from the Texas Legal Service Center, there is no distinction in the procedure for minors and adults seeking to modify the gender marker on a Texas document, such as the sex listed on a birth certificate. The guidance advises families to see an attorney for adjustments to a minor sender title.
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To modify the gender designations on Texas papers, a court order is necessary. Local judges have the authority to approve or disapprove changes to gender markers, and they are free to choose what evidence is required to support the change before issuing a court order.
Those who want to modify the gender marker on their identification documents, such as birth certificates or driver sicenses, then produce the court ruling. According to the bill’s proponents, the idea would virtually exclude trans and nonbinary youth from public life.-
During the committee searing earlier this month, transgender woman Jacqueline Murphy stated that she could change her birth certificate while still a minor, which made it simpler for her to obtain identification for college enrollment and work.
This measure, according to Hall, contains ambiguous language regarding how to identify an intersex child’ sex. This field would have to be filled out for intersex children “whose sex is later determined,” “according to the proposed legislation for birth certificates. Nevertheless, when that choice is made is not specified in the Act, according to Hall.
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Hall remarked that the inter”ex group Texas’so can choose their gender and not have their bodies operated on as infants. The bill could prevent intersex children from changing gender.
SB 162 sponsors stated the bill is required to “defend present rules that we have to truly protect biological sex,” such as Texas’s high school trans student athlete ban. Senate Bill 15, which would extend similar limits to college, has gotten preliminary approval from the entire chamber and has adequate House backing.
Supporters of SB 162 also support Senate Bill 14, which was the main topic of discussion at the committee hearing when SB 162 was also discussed. SB 14 aims to prevent trans children from receiving transition-related medical treatments such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers. Surgery would also be prohibited, though young people rarely have surgery.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, in charge of the Senate, has SB 14 on his priority list of laws. This week, the entire parliament will debate and vote on this proposal.
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