Story at a glance

  • With the exception of Tennessee and Ohio, 48 states and the District of Columbia allow people to amend their sex designation on their birth certificate.
  • Now, the American Medical Association recommends removing the sex designation altogether from public birth certificates.
  • The change would mirror the removal of racial designations on birth certificates in order to prevent discrimination.

Just as race is not just Black and white, sex is not just male or female. But while the former is no longer set into stone on public birth certificates, the latter is. Now, the American Medical Association is recommending no longer designating sex on birth certificates.   

“Historically, birth certificates have also been used to discriminate, promote racial hierarchies, and prohibit miscegenation. For that reason, the race of an individual’s parents is no longer listed on the public portion of birth certificates. However, sex designation is still included on the public portion of the birth certificate, despite the potential for discrimination,” said the AMA in a new report


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

CARL NASSIB IS THE FIRST ACTIVE NFL PLAYER TO COME OUT AS GAY

BURGER KING DECLARES WAR ON CHICK-FIL-A OVER LGBTQ+ RIGHTS AND CHICKEN SANDWICHES

WISCONSIN COUPLE ORDERED TO TAKE DOWN PRIDE FLAG FIND BRILLIANT SOLUTION

‘KEEP YOUR PRIDE,’ ACTIVISTS TELL COMPANIES DONATING TO ANTI-LGBTQ+ CAUSES


While 49 states and the District of Columbia (with Tennessee as the exceptions) allow people to amend their sex designation on their birth certificate, only ten allow a gender-neutral designation on birth certificates. So even after individuals get through all the bureaucratic red tape to correct their gender markers, there are often still inconsistencies in the public record. 

"We as physicians need to report things accurately," said Robert Jackson, an alternate delegate from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, who spoke against the decision. "All through medical school, residency, and specialty training we were supposed to delegate all of the physical findings of the patient we're taking care of. I think when the child is born, they do have physical characteristics either male or female and I think that probably should be on the public record. That's just my personal opinion."  


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


But not all states accurately record the physical findings of patients on public record, with only a handful of states issuing intersex birth certificates for patients “born with a variation of hormones, chromosomes, and (later) secondary sex characteristics that cannot be easily categorized into either of the two binary sexes.”

While the birth certificate is issued by the government to individuals as proof of birth, the government uses a separate form, Standard Certificates of Live Birth, that would still record such information and the report concludes that the change would “have little to no impact on vital statistics data.” Ultimately, removing the gender marker would protect individual privacy and prevent discrimination, according to the AMA. 

"We unfortunately still live in a world where it is unsafe in many cases for one's gender to vary from the sex assigned at birth," Jeremy Toler, a delegate from GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, told WebMD.  


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

IN HONOR OF PRIDE MONTH, GOOGLE CELEBRATES LGBTQ+ ACTIVIST FRANK KAMENY

MLB TEAM ANNOUNCES IT WILL WEAR LGBTQ+ LOGO ON CAPS, UNIFORMS TO HONOR PRIDE MONTH

AMONG NATIONAL FLOOD OF ANTI-TRANS BILLS, NEVADA LAWMAKERS PASS LGBTQ+ AFFIRMING LEGISLATION

FACING STIGMA IN THEIR OWN HOMES, LGBTQ GEN ZERS FIND A ‘SAFE HAVEN’ IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

COMPANIES ARE ROLLING OUT THE RAINBOW CARPET FOR PRIDE MONTH — BUT ARE THEY REALLY SAFE FOR LGBTQ+ EMPLOYEES?

TENNESSEE PASSES BILL REQUIRING BUSINESSES TO POST SIGNS SAYING THEY ALLOW TRANS PEOPLE TO USE THEIR BATHROOMS


 

Published on Aug 07, 2021