Gov. Brown signs Oregon's first standalone transgender equality - KPTV - FOX 12

Gov. Brown signs Oregon's first standalone transgender equality bill

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Gov. Kate Brown (Photo: Basic Rights Oregon) Gov. Kate Brown (Photo: Basic Rights Oregon)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed the state's first standalone transgender equality bill that is designed to make it easier to update names and genders on birth certificates.

Brown signed House Bill 2673A into law Thursday.

The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018 and eliminates the requirement for courts to publicly post court orders regarding name or gender identity changes.

Court cases involving a change in gender identity may also be sealed under the law.

Having mismatched IDs is a significant barrier in transgender communities, according to Basic Rights Oregon. The 2015 U.S. Trans Survey estimates only one in 10 transgender people has accurate IDs, because of the current court process.

"Many transgender Oregonians fear being publicly outed by having sensitive medical and personal information disclosed through the current court process," said Nancy Haque, Basic Right's co-executive director. "They have to post their name change on a public bulletin board and sometimes answer personal medical questions in open court. This is a real barrier."

Basic Rights Oregon reports that having a driver's license, credit cards and insurance cards that reflect a person's name and gender also makes it easier for them to get a job, housing and medical care.

California is the only other state to have a similar administrative option for transgender people to update their birth certificates.

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