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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Topics In the News
 
New California Laws Forbid Discrimination in Fertility Treatment and Ease the Correction of Birth Certificates by Transgender Individuals
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 10/11/13
Last updated on: 10/11/13
 
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Gov. Jerry Brown.

New laws signed by Governor Jerry Brown on October 8, 2013 ease the difficulty of obtaining corrected documents by transgender individuals and extend fertility coverage to same-sex couples in California.

As the Associated Press reports, one of the bills signed into law by Governor Brown, AB460, clarifies the non-discrimination provision of an existing state law that requires health plans to offer coverage for fertility treatments, except for in vitro fertilization. The new law requires that same-sex couples be granted the same access to insurance coverage for fertility treatments as heterosexual couples.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who sponsored the bill, said many same-sex couples have been denied the coverage. In praising Brown's signature on his bill, Ammiano said reproductive medicine should be for the benefit of everyone.

"To restrict fertility coverage solely to heterosexual married couples violates California's non-discrimination laws," he said in a statement. "I wrote this bill to correct that."

The new law, which takes effect in January, states that insurance plans offering coverage for fertility treatments cannot discriminate on any basis, including "domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status . . . sex or sexual orientation."

Also on October 8, 2013, Governor Brown signed a bill designed to make it easier for transgender Californians to obtain birth certificates reflecting name and gender changes.

As the Associated Press notes, currently, birth certificates of Californians may be amended only by court order, a process that transgender rights advocates argued is expensive and needlessly invasive since a legal notice of the requested changes must be published in a newspaper.

The bill signed into law by Governor Brown, AB1121, was sponsored by San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins. It authorizes the state registrar to issue a birth certificate with a corrected gender to a transgender person who provides proof of having undergone appropriate medical treatment.

Judges will still have to sign off on name changes, but will be able to do so without holding a formal hearing. The law also eliminates the legal notice requirement.

 
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