HRC Blog

Gender Identity and Civil Union Laws Move Forward in Hawaii

This post comes from HRC Regional Field Organizer Trevor Chandler:

There was some exciting movement in Hawaii this week when the House Finance Committee moved forward on two bills affecting the LGBT community. HB 2227 removes significant barriers transgender citizens face when requesting a corrected birth certificate. The bill eliminates the mandate stating citizens only could obtain a new birth certificate if they had gone through a surgical transition.

This mandate put up an enormous barrier to the transgender community, as reassignment surgery can be prohibitively expensive and should be at the sole discretion of the individual.

HB 2227 also allows citizens to go directly to the Department of Health for a new birth certificate. It will allow Hawaii’s transgender community to have streamlined access to all forms of identification, including drivers licenses.

HB 2569 streamlines the process by which couples can turn their “reciprocal beneficiary relationship” into the civil unions now offered by the state.

Both bills come nearly a year after the Hawaii House passed a gender identity inclusive ENDA, a vote is expected later this week.  Mahalo to Governor Abercrombie and the legislators for taking action on these bills!

To search for information about correcting birth certificates and the transition process in your state, visit http://www.hrc.org/laws-and-legislation/state.

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