FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2009
CONTACT: Vaishalee Raja
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Lieu Introduces Equal ID Act in California Assembly
EQCA Sponsors Bill Making Identification Change More Accessible for Transgender Persons
Sacramento --The Equal ID Act, AB 1185, introduced today in the California State Assembly by Assemblymember Ted Lieu (D -- Torrance), increases the legal rights and recognition enjoyed by transgender people. The bill, sponsored by Equality California (EQCA), allows qualified transgender people born in California to return to the county of their birth to obtain a new birth certificate reflecting the correct gender as well as any accompanying name change.
Current California law allows transgender persons to petition the court for a new birth certificate only in the county in which they presently reside. This prevents many people born in California living outside the state from accessing accurate documentation. The new bill corrects this oversight by ensuring that transgender people born in California can return to the county of their birth to obtain a corrected birth certificate. It also provides greater access to transgender persons living in the state, allowing them for first time to petition the court in their home counties.
"All Californians deserve legal documentation that accurately reflects who they are," EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors said. "Once passed, this law will make it easier for transgender people both in California and beyond to obtain accurate identification, apply for jobs, and live their lives as full and equal members of society."
"The rights of Californians should not end at our state's borders," Leiu said. "The Equal ID Act will make certain that every Californian will have the freedom and liberty to be true to his or herself."
Birth certificates are used as primary source of identification and are often necessary to secure other forms of identification, including social security cards and passports.
EQCA works to achieve equality and secure legal protections for LGBT people. To improve the lives of LGBT Californians, EQCA sponsors legislation and coordinates efforts to ensure its passage, lobbies legislators and other policy makers, builds coalitions, develops community strength and empowers individuals and other organizations to engage in the political process. www.eqca.org