This last Monday, these comments were submitted to the Washington State Department of Health.
"Gender Justice League along with Ingersoll Gender Center, National Center for Transgender
Equality, Trans United, Legal Voice, Seattle Men’s and Women’s Chorus, LGBTQ Allyship,
Greater Seattle Business Association, Equal Rights Washington, Third Gender Washington,
Seattle Counseling Services, and Entre Hermanos would like to submit the following principals
to the Washington State Department of Health Vital Statistics office for your consideration when
considering rule making regarding sex designation / gender marker changes on Washington
"Our organizations serve several thousand two-spirit, non-binary, trans, and gender diverse
though out Washington State. On behalf of our clients and community we are pleased that the
Washington Department of Health has recognized the need for the State of Washington to
expand sex designations beyond a binary male/female and is considering opening a rulemaking
process to reevaluate the current policies and consider new procedures for changes of sex
designation on birth certificates. We humbly submit the following commentary on behalf of the
undersigned organizations on what we believe are some core principals the Washington
Department of Health should consider when undertaking this rulemaking process."
Principles in crafting a new policy on sex designations on birth certificates:
1. Washingtonians should be allowed to decide their sex or gender identity without
confirmation from third parties. We believe Washingtonians should not have to pay
money to private physicians or therapists, undergo unnecessary medical or mental
health treatment, or possibly be coercively made to undergo treatments they might not
otherwise choose by third parties. This may include forced sterilization in some cases.
We believe the state should abandon requiring physician or therapist certification letters
of “gender change”. Self-attestation is the most accurate method of ensuring that the sex
designation on a birth certificate matches the individual. There is currently no clear
statutory definition of sex in Washington or clarity about what the designations “male” or
“female” mean, clinicians are no more expert in ascertaining a client’s sex than the client
themselves. Relying on outdated indicators such as a doctor’s attesting to a patient’s
primary or secondary sex characteristics is an unnecessarily invasive and often
dehumanizing process that does not further any legitimate state interest. We believe
Washingtonians are competent in ascertaining the most appropriate sex designation on
their birth certificates."
View all comments here: WA Birth Certification Comments