PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Passed in the Illinois House and Senate, there’s one more stop for House Bill 9.
It’s a bill that would amend the Vital Records Act, requiring the state registrar to issue a new birth certificate to someone who would like to change their gender identity. The bill needs Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature before it becomes law.
“This bill is going to help a number of individuals. It’s going to help our non-binary or transgender community, as well as our intersex community,” said Deric Kimler, executive director of Central Illinois Friends.
The new changes to the Vital Records Act would allow for a member of the LGBTQ+ or intersex community to change the identity on their birth certificate.
“Having your birth certificate, your I.D. and everything lined up is essential to making the processes easier in your future,” said Kimler.
If an I.D. and birth certificate don’t match completely, it’s more difficult for agencies to help an individual, like getting accepted into a college. If the bill is passed, however, that doesn’t mean there won’t be issues faced by those looking to change their certificates.
“Just because a governmental entity decides to make this change doesn’t mean that Illinois residents who get this opportunity won’t struggle in other locations,” said Kimler. “It doesn’t mean it’s going to be smooth sailing from here on out.”
For those who want to make the change, a doctor’s note that confirms a different gender identity can be brought to the county clerk. Then, the option allows people to switch their gender to male, female, or X designation.
“People that have had those surgeries and want that change then would come to us for a copy of the record, but our procedures and what we do here would basically stay the same,” said Rachael Parker, the Peoria County Clerk.
Legislators say this bill removes systemic barriers.
“At the end of the day, the only requirement that should be necessary for someone to change their gender designation on a birth certificate should be the desire from the individual for their legal gender be changed, and this law will do just that,” State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) said.
The bill would also make the change of a birth certificate free of charge.
Danny Connolly of WCIA contributed to the reporting of this article.