Should ‘male’ and ‘female’ be removed from birth certificates? AMA advisory committee says ‘yes’

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Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

For many Americans, birth certificates aren’t just an important identity marker, they are an entry point into many parts of life. But for trans and nonbinary people, birth certificates can be a hurdle — a document that invalidates their identity — unless they amend it.

Now, the American Medical Association, the country’s largest association of physicians, has taken a significant step in easing that burden. In a June report, the AMA’s LGBTQ advisory committee advised the organization to push for removing sex labels from the public part of the birth certificate.

Assigning either a “male” or “female” sex at birth, the authors wrote, “fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity.”

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“A birth certificate without a [sex] marker means something, but it doesn’t mean as much as creating a world in which they can be safe and live with dignity,” [advocacy group Urge director Kimberly Inez McGuire] said. Still, she said, it’s a validating move from an influential group.

“It’s so important to recognize any win, of any size, because we know that any win for gender justice is incredibly hard-fought.”

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