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A Pride flag and the District of Columbia flag wave side by side

Photo by Ted Eytan

Washington, D.C. legislators have taken yet another significant stride toward bringing transgender equality to the District. Recently, council members unanimously approved the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013, which amends existing law that once required gender reassignment surgery before an individual could obtain a gender designation change to his or her birth certificate.

“This is simply unacceptable in a city that values diversity and equality for all its citizens,” says Council Member David Catania.

Councilmember David Catania

Council Member David Catania

Inspired by the story of JaParker Deoni Jones, who was wrongfully murdered at a bus stop simply because she was transgender, Catania has authored an act that will make the process of changing one’s gender on a birth certificate easier, less invasive, and less expensive.

“The legislation…which will soon become law, will make it easier for transgendered individuals to make such changes and will update the District’s law to reflect advances in medical treatments for transgendered individuals,” Catania explains.

In addition to dropping the transgender surgery requirement, the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013 also eliminates publication requirements, which once forced individuals to publicize name and gender designation changes made on their birth certificates. Now, transgender individuals are issued a new birth certificate containing only the changes, not an amended birth certificate that shows the original gender designation and/or name.

Once the act becomes law, transgender individuals seeking a new birth certificate will only need to provide a statement from a licensed healthcare provider who has treated or evaluated the individual along with their request.