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

a sample birth certificate

In Illinois, House bill 6073 would 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 lead editor of Illinois Issues' feature articles, working with freelance writers, and covering the equity beat. Maureen joined the Illinois Issues in 1998 as projects editor. Previously, she worked at three Illinois daily newspapers, most recently the suburban Chicago-based Daily Herald, where she served stints as an education reporter and copy editor. She graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's in journalism. She also has a master's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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