Web MD Health News published an article in June about how the American Medical Association (AMA) says sex should be removed as a legal designation on the public part of birth certificates. Willie Underwood III, MD, said “Assigning sex using binary variables in the public portion of the birth certificate fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity.”
Authors of the Board Report 15, including Underwood, say a person’s designation at birth can lead to discrimination and unnecessary burden on individuals whose current gender identity does not align with their designation at birth. Such incidents could occur when they register for school sports, adopt, get married, or request personal records.
The authors note a sex designation at birth would still be submitted to the U.S Standard Certificate of Live Birth for medical, public health, and statistical use only. Exactly! They even admit gender designation is for “medical” and “public health” so how do they justify picking and choosing when “medical” applies?
Jeremy Toler, MD, part of Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality said transgender, gender nonbinary, and individuals with differences in sex development can be placed at a disadvantage by the sex label on birth certificates.
Toler said, “We unfortunately still live in a world where it is unsafe in many cases for one’s gender to vary from the sex assigned at birth.” Not having this data on the widely used form will reduce unnecessary reliance on sex as a stand-in for gender, he said, and would “serve as an equalizer” since policies differ by state.
The Center for Transgender Medicine & Surgery at Boston Medical Center tweeted out in June “this past weekend our @The_BMC @BmcTrans team provided virtual testimony at @AmerMedicalAssn mtg to remove sex markers from birth certificates, removing a bureaucratic hurdle for our #transgender community.”