American Medical Association Says Gender Should Be Removed From Birth Certificates / LGBTQ Nation
The American Medical Association (AMA) says that sex should be removed as a legal designation on the public part of birth certificates.
Group says inclusion of information can lead to stigmatization of transgender and non-binary people when they enroll in school or sports, apply for or file government documents, get married or apply for a job or a credit check.
Related: Parents sue Tennessee over discrimination against trans students
The sex designated at birth would still be recorded, it simply would not be part of the information available to the public. Instead, it will be sent to the US Standard Certificate of Live Birth for “medical, public health and statistical use only,” according to the group.
“Assigning sex using binary variables in the public portion of the birth certificate does not recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity,” said Willie Underwood III, MD, the author of the report.
Forty-eight states plus Washington, DC allow individuals to change the sex assigned at birth on their birth certificates. Texas and Tennessee, two of the most anti-trans states in the country, don’t. Only ten states allow a non-binary gender marker.
“We unfortunately still live in a world where it is dangerous in many cases for a person’s sex to differ from the sex assigned at birth,” added Jeremy Toler, MD, GLMA Delegate: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality.
Shifting the information to the non-public part of the birth certificate would reduce “unnecessary use of sex as a substitute for gender” and “serve as an equalizer” as policies vary from state to state.
“We need to recognize that gender is not a binary but a spectrum,” said Sarah Mae Smith, MD, speaking on behalf of the Women Physicians Section. “Forcing our patients to go through many administrative hurdles to identify their identity based on a sex assigned at birth mainly on the genitals is not only unnecessary, but also deleterious to their health.”
She pointed out that the race of a baby’s parents was once recorded on birth certificates, information that has led to widespread discrimination.
“Fortunately, a change has been made to at least avoid this possibility of discriminatory practices,” she said. “Now, likewise, information about the sex assigned at birth is being used to undermine the rights of our transgender, intersex and non-binary patients.”