Transgender Persons In Puerto Rico Can Change Their Birth Certificates According To Identity

Grace Carr | Reporter

Puerto Rico joined the list of territories and states that allow transgender persons to change their birth certificates to match their gender identity rather than their biological sex.

“The right to identify our own existence lies at the heart of one’s humanity,” wrote U.S. District Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo in April, ruling that the U.S. territory could no longer prevent transgender individuals from changing their birth records to accord with their identity. The change took effect Monday.

The ruling came after a group of transgender activists sued Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, demanding that he overturn the policy barring transgender individuals from altering their birth certificates.

“It’s a relief to finally have a birth certificate that truly reflects who I am,” plaintiff Daniela Arroyo said in a statement, Channel NewsAsia reported.

California became the first state to allow citizens to change markings on their birth certificate to the sex they identify with rather than their biological sex in 2017.

Oregon and Washington, D.C., followed in California’s footsteps and allow those who identify as transgender to change their driver’s licenses according to their identity. Idaho and New Jersey also recently passed laws allowing transgender persons to change their birth certificate to match a chosen gender instead of biological sex. (RELATED: Transgender Individuals In New Jersey Just Got A Bundle Of Laws Passed Solely For Them)

Ontario issued its first gender neutral birth certificate in May, allowing Canadian citizens living in the province of Ontario to remove gender from their birth certificate or note whichever gender accords with their chosen identity.

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