The New York Civil Liberties presented testimony today before the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regarding proposed changes in the requirements for transgender persons to change their birth certificates.

In her testimony, NYCLU Reproductive Rights Project Director Elisabeth Benjamin applauded the city's decision to address this issue and eliminate the need for proof of "convertive" surgery. Benjamin also urged that the DOH reconsider certain requirements, focusing the following three components of the proposed Code:

(a) the requirement that applicants live two years in their desired gender;

(b) the requirement that applicants acquire a Court Ordered name change; and

(c) the proposal to add burdensome requirements on health care professionals.

The NYCLU awaits the Board's final decision regarding these requirements.