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In Illinois - Debate About Transgender People Changing Sex On Birth Certificate

a sample birth certificate

In Illinois, House bill 6073would make it so transgender people can change the sex designation on their birth certificate without having to have reassignment surgery. Proponents of the measure say it's a needed change since not all trans people want the surgery, and many who do can't afford it. 

Meanwhile opponents, like Laurie Higgins of the Illinois family Institute, say the measure would subordinate "objective truths" - like biological sex. We spoke with her to hear more about her position:

People like Eli Valentin, a 26 year old transgender man and graphic designer from Chicago, have testified in support of the measure. Valentin says he's unsure that surgery is right for him, but he's on hormones and has had other forms of ID change from female to male. He explains why being able to change his birth certificate is important to him:

Listen to the interview with Eli Valentin

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.
Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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