There might be a big change to New Mexico’s birth certificates. A bill would give people the option to identify themselves as male, female or transgender.

One of the bill’s sponsors said this would modernize our state and is a way to help transgender people to legally identify themselves as they want to.

“And when we, as a state, put up these barriers that we think we know better, we have the right role to dictate to people who we truly are,” said Sen. Jacob Candelaria, (D) Albuquerque. “We know that can cause significant harm to transgender folks to their mental health and general health.”

Sen. Candelaria is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 20. It would allow someone to change their gender identity to male, female, or use the letter ‘X’ meaning an undesignated or gender other than male or female.

The bill would no longer require people to prove that they’ve gone through surgery to change the gender marker on their birth certificate.

The senator said the bill would give transgender people more freedom to be themselves.

“I believe it’s a fundamental right for every person to be respected and recognized for who they are,” said Sen. Candelaria. “And the state should afford them the same dignity it affords to every other person.”

It was passed at the Senate Public Affairs Committee with a few wording changes to the bill, and it also passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, so now the bill will move to the floor for a vote.

The bill passed along party lines at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans on that committee declined to interview.