Senator Toni Atkins of San Diego, introduced a bill (SB 179) last month that not only simplifies the process for changing a person’s gender designation on a birth certificate and a driver’s license, it offers a third gender option, non-binary, for those who don’t want to be identified as either sex. If approved, biological reality will no longer have any bearing on determining the differences between the sexes as far as the state is concerned.
“While we are sympathetic to the difficulties facing those experiencing gender dysphoria, we believe government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification and medical purposes,” said Jonathan Keller, CEO of the California Family Council. “Secondly, the bill advances a falsehood; that being male or female, or no gender at all is a choice each person must make, not a fact to celebrate and accept. Laws like this will simply erase any meaningful gender definitions, if being male or female is completely divorced from biological facts. I hope the legislature rejects this bill quickly.”
Current state law requires a person to have “undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition” before being allowed to change the sex designation on a birth certificate. The new bill will delete the treatment requirement. The bill would also authorize a gender change on legal documents for minors with the approval of one parent or guardian.
According to Atkins, it’s time for our state to make it easier for transgender Californians and those who don’t conform to traditional notions of gender to have state-issued identification documents that “reflect who they truly are.” And she hopes this bill will help them avoid the “discrimination and harassment that too many of these residents face in their daily lives.”