In May 2017, California senators approved Bill 179, the Gender Recognition Act. The bill removes the requirement that a person seeking to obtain a new birth certificate from the State Registrar must have first “undergone clinically appropriate treatment” and instead allows anyone, regardless of whether or not they have undergone any treatment, to submit a form and obtain a new birth certificate. “This bill would authorize the change of gender on the new birth certificate to be female, male, or nonbinary.”
The bill would also “provide modified procedures to obtain a court order for a change of name to conform to the petitioner’s gender identity and a court judgment to recognize a change in the petitioner’s gender” while deleting the requirement that the petitioner must have first “undergone clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition.”
It also deletes the minimum age requirement for changing the gender on ones identifying documents, and allows a minor to obtain new documents through the approval of one parent. The bill requires a potentially dissenting parent to appear in court to “show cause.” “If a petition has been filed for a minor by a parent and the other parent, if living, does not join in consenting thereto, the petitioner shall cause, not less than 30 days before the hearing, to be served notice of the time and place of the hearing or a copy of the order to show cause on the other parent…”
Though the bill notes “Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity or gender expression do not match the gender they were assigned at birth” it fails to define “transgender” and “nonbinary” and provides no criteria for determining whether or not a person qualifies as either.
The bill is currently pending a decision from the Assembly and Governor Jerry Brown.
Read the full text here: CA Bill 179