This week, two pro-LGBT bills in Hawaii will be one step closer to becoming law.

The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor held a hearing on HB 631, which would allow transgender people to more easily change their birth certificates. The bill ensures that transgender people are able to change their birth certificates to reflect their correct name and gender without unnecessarily expensive and invasive obstacles.

HRC Senior Legislative Counsel Alison Gill submitted testimony in support of the bill. Gill explained, “Current Hawaii law makes it difficult and expensive for transgender people to update their Hawaii birth certificate because it requires them to undergo surgery, and even then only providing an amended document.”

The committee passed the bill unanimously on Monday. It will now go to the full Senate for a vote. This legislation has already passed the Hawaii House.

Yesterday, the Senate Committees on Judiciary and Labor and Ways and Means held a hearing on HB 819, a comprehensive anti-bullying bill that provides specific protection for LGBT students.

“The passage of this anti-bullying legislation is critical to ensure the safety and well-being young people in Hawaii,” Gill testified. “In Hawaii in 2013, nearly 19 percent  (1 in 5) of students reported being bullied on school property and more than 15 percent reported experiencing cyberbullying.”

The deck is stacked against young people growing up LGBT in America and the impact of family rejection, bullying, and daily concern for safety weighs heavily on our youth. HRC’s groundbreaking report, Growing Up LGBT in America, found that LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to say they have been physically assaulted, kicked or shoved at school.

HRC thanks Equality Hawaii for their leadership in advocating for these critical bills for the LGBTQ community and urges lawmakers in Hawaii to swiftly pass them.

For more resources on safe schools and bullying prevention, click here.

Join HRC in support of HB 819 and contact your senator today to ask them to pass this critical legislation to ensure the safety and well-being of young people in Hawaii.

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