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Emotional Testimony Over Bill To Change Birth Certificate Gender

By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4)- There was emotional testimony at the state Capitol on Thursday about a bill that would make it easier to change the gender on a birth certificate.

Right now in Colorado, those who want a new birth certificate must get sex reassignment surgery and a court order.

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The bill would allow people to update their gender by getting a statement from their doctor.

One person who testified at the state Capitol on Thursday said the law as it is now can be humiliating, especially for transgender youth.

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"We have set up an impossible scenario for our young people to have documentation that reflects who they are. We don't do surgeries on young people because we want them to be able to make those decisions when they're older," said one person who testified.

Social conservatives oppose the bill, saying it is a gateway to fraud and abuse of state records.

State Capitol
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"This could have a devastating effect on girls and women's sports in Colorado where boys and men could get an unfair advantage on women's sports events," says Megan Mulnary of the American College of Physicians.

Representative Cole Wist, a Republican representing Centennial, says he does not support the bill because there is no framework inside the language of the bill that addresses if a person has a conflicting birth certificate in a different state.

CBS4's Stan Bush interviews Rep. Cole Wist, (R) Centennial (credit: CBS)

"The public is entitled to have confidence in that record. If we're creating a new birth certificate what happens to that record and those answers are not in that bill," says Wist.

"I believe the concern on the physician's point is that DNA and biological sex cannot be changed, no matter what transition you go through. And they are concerned from a medical standpoint, as well as from a legal standpoint, of issues that could arise from this," said Mulnary.

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The bill passed committee 7-4 on Thursday and will move to the full state House floor for consideration. However, it faces tremendous opposition in the Republican controlled State Senate.

Jack Teter, a transgender former legislative aid who testified for the bill, say Republicans will likely send the bill to a "kill committee" for a fourth time in as many years.

"I think the conversation on LGBT is changing and I think the conversation in the Capitol is changing and it's going to die anyway."

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.


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