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Illinois legislature to consider gender assignment bill

Photo of Karen Lavin

Illinois has been at the forefront of many important cultural sea changes, and recent legislation that has been introduced seeks to further that trend. The state's legislators will soon consider an issue near and dear to many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community — the ability for transgender individuals to voluntarily alter the gender identification on their birth certificates.

The matter is not a simple one, and should be undertaken soberly. Some parties have raised the concern that modifying the gender on a birth certificate may cause medical danger to the individual. However, the bill has allowed for this concern by ensuring that those who wish to alter their gender identity officially would do so with the approval and assistance of an experienced medical professional.

Under the proposed law, the individual who seeks to change his or her gender identity legally would no longer have to undergo a reassignment surgery to qualify. However, the individual would make the change with the assistance of a medical professional who declares that all the necessary treatment in each individual case has occurred.

Of course, laws such as these are controversial and bring out their share of detractors. Among the bills opponents are family rights organizations who believe that such a law would subvert the public's understanding of "objective truths."

Being a law-abiding LGBTQ citizen is not always as simple as those outside of the community might think. Like the issue raised by the proposed law, there are many ways that simply wishing to live as you believe that you should may place you on shaky legal footing. If you have any further questions about Illinois' LGBTQ-related laws, an experienced, empathetic attorney who is committed to protecting all of your rights can help.

Source: publicnewsservice.org, "Gender ID Bill Before Illinois Lawmakers," Veronica Carte, Feb. 06, 2017

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