Puerto Rico allowing transgender people to fix birth certificates

Published June 30, 2020, 4:03 PM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Agence France-Presse

Transgender people in Puerto Rico can now modify their birth certificates to match their gender identity, after activists won a lawsuit against the US territory’s governor.

Members of the transgender community and their supporters rally for transgender equality in Washington in June 2017 (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Members of the transgender community and their supporters rally for transgender equality in Washington in June 2017 (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

The change, which went into effect Monday, will comply with a ruling from the US District Court for Puerto Rico, which in April struck down the island’s policy preventing transgender people living there from correcting gender on birth certificates.

“The right to identify our own existence lies at the heart of one’s humanity,” wrote US District Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo at the time. “And so, we must heed their voices: ‘the woman that I am,’ ‘the man that I am.'”

The latest victory for the LGBT community leaves just three US states that prohibit amending the gender marker on the official identification documents: Kansas, Ohio and Tennessee.

“It’s a relief to finally have a birth certificate that truly reflects who I am,” said one of the plaintiffs, Daniela Arroyo, in a statement released by Lambda Legal, an LGBT civil rights nonprofit.

Omar Gonzalez Pagan, a lawyer for Lambda Legal, said the group had already filed suit against Ohio’s rule.

In its statement the group said almost one-third of transgender people whose identity documents are at odds with the gender they appear to be have been denied benefits or services and faced harassment or assault.

 
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