Bill could reduce requirements for changing gender on birth certificates

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – State lawmakers at the Roundhouse are moving to allow people to change their gender on their birth certificates without having a sex change.

Sen. Jacob Candelaria’s idea is to reduce the hurdles it takes for someone to amend their gender on their birth certificate. The Albuquerque Democrat is behind Senate Bill 120.

Under current law, a person who wants to change the sex listed on their birth certificate has to present doctor-signed paperwork confirming they have undergone reassignment surgery. However, this bill would only require an opinion from a “provider” that someone is transgender.

“It removes the barriers and costs, many transgendered persons can’t afford the surgery that’s currently required by New Mexico law. By joining 20 other states and removing the requirement, we ensure that these people can really, truly live their lives to the fullest extent of themselves,” Sen. Candelaria said.

The bill has faced some opposition along the way. Wedneday night, it’s being debated in the House Judiciary Committee.

If it passes, it heads to the House floor for a full vote. It already passed the Senate 28 to 10, mostly along party lines.

KRQE News 13 did reach out to the Governor’s Office to see if she would support this legislation, but did not hear back.

The legislative session ends on Saturday.

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