Majority of LGBT Americans Can Now Get an Accurate Birth Certificate Without Burdensome Requirements

Thanks to recent updates in Idaho and Florida, 51% of LGBT adults now live in states that issue new birth certificates without requiring sex reassignment surgery or a court order. Previously transgender people in these states had to provide proof of “sexual reassignment surgery,” while those living in Idaho could not get an updated birth certificate.  Now transgender people in Florida can provide a letter from a medical provider asserting they have undergone transition-related care to change their gender marker. In Idaho, transgender people must complete paperwork, and have it notarized—a simple and straightforward process.

The changes in these states are major milestones in the fight for equality for transgender and gender nonconforming people.

Official identity documents—such as drivers’ licenses, birth certificates, and passports—that do not match a transgender person’s gender identity greatly complicate that person’s life. According to the United States Transgender Survey, nearly one-third (32%) of respondents who have shown an ID with a name or gender that did not match their gender presentation were verbally harassed, denied benefits or service, asked to leave, or assaulted. A recent ad produced by MAP called “Movie Theater” depicts how transgender people can experience harassment, discrimination and denial of equal treatment in places of public accommodation. In it, a transgender man is the subject of harassment because his gender marker on his drivers’ license does not match his gender identity.

Thirty-one states either require proof of surgery, a court order, or have unclear policies regarding updating the gender markers on birth certificates. For some transgender people, requiring surgery is neither affordable nor desirable. And another three states do not allow for amending the gender marker on the birth certificate.

By eliminating this requirement for updating their birth certificates, these 16 states and the District of Columbia are making it easier for transgender people to go about their daily lives and to exist equally.

Read more about the updated requirements from Equality Florida: http://www.eqfl.org/transactionfl/birth-certificates and Lambda Legal: https://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20180406_idaho-makes-history

Click here to visit MAP’s updated equality maps page to see where your state stands on identity document laws and policies, including requirements for updating gender markers: http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/identity_document_laws 

New Partnership Between MAP and Trulia

If you’re part of the LGBT community and looking for a house or apartment, how do you know if the neighborhood you’re interested in protects you from discrimination?

Today, the Movement Advancement Project partnered with Trulia, an online real estate and rental listing service, to release an innovative, first-of-its-kind tool to answer exactly that question. This dynamic tool shows the level of state and local protections for LGBT people in different areas and neighborhoods, to help home-buyers and apartment-hunters make more informed decisions about where to live, given that legal protections for LGBT people vary widely from state to state and even city to city.

The new Local Level Protections feature from Trulia and MAP informs home buyers about whether a neighborhood offers nondiscrimination protections in housing, employment and public accommodations discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This feature is powered by MAP’s LGBT Equality Maps, which track federal, state, and local nondiscrimination laws, among many other LGBT-related policies. MAP provided the data essential to building this new feature, including a database of more than 300 local city and county ordinances that prohibit discrimination.

Our MAP-Trulia collaboration and the Local Level Protections feature has received widespread media coverage, illustrating the value and innovation of this tool. These are just a few examples of our coverage already:

Choosing a home is one of the most significant decisions in people’s lives. For LGBT people, a primary consideration isn’t just the house, but whether they will be moving to a neighborhood where they are protected against discrimination. This groundbreaking feature will help LGBT people look not only for the right home, but also the right community.

For a more comprehensive look at nondiscrimination and other legal protections across the country, visit MAP’s LGBT Equality Maps.

Click here to donate to MAP to ensure we can continue to provide the most accurate, up-to-date tracking of LGBT laws and policies!