Birth certificates

The Herald reports:

People will be able to change genders on their birth certificate by way of a statutory declaration, instead of needing confirmation by a judge, under a bill reported back to Parliament.

Which is how Lauren Southern is now officially a man.

And they will have options others than male or female – the options of “intersex” or “X (unspecified)” will also be available if Parliament adopts the recommendations of the Governance and Administration Committee on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill.

That seems sensible. A very small number of people are born with physical characteristics of both genders or no gender.

The move to self-identification for gender changes on birth certificates rather than needing the approval of a court and medical evidence brings it into line with passports and drivers’ licences, committee chairman and National MP Brett Hudson said.

I’m in favour of people being able to have current documents that state their gender as the gender they identify as. So no problems with passports or drivers’ licenses. But I’m a bit uncomfortable with people being able to alter birth certificates which are meant to be historical. However I recognise that birth certificates do get amended at present anyway, such as adoptions. And you need your birth certificate and passport to match.

Hudson said the original birth certificate would not be erased under the changes. The public record might change but the original details would still be kept.

That is important.

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