Transgender bill dies in Senate Committee


A bill that would have granted more rights to transgender people who were born in Colorado has failed in a Senate committee on a party-line vote.

Republicans nixed the 2016 Birth Certificate Modernization Act (House Bill 1185), which would have allowed trans people with a Colorado birth certificate to change the gender on the document without undergoing surgery and without going through lengthy court proceedings. The document would not be marked as amended.

Current law requires that a trans person undergo some sort of sexual reassignment surgery, get a court order for a name change on their birth certificate, get a legal name change, and file forms and documents with the state before receiving a birth certificate that is marked as amended.

HB1185 had already passed the Democrat-controlled House, with five Republicans joining Democrats in supporting it. It died in the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee in the Republican-controlled Senate. A similar bill died in a Senate committee in the last session.

The LGBTQ advocacy organization One Colorado released a statement on the bill's failure from Executive Director Dave Montez that read in part:

Today the Republicans on the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee of the Colorado Senate had the chance to, yet again, do the right thing for transgender Coloradans. Despite the fact there was no testimony in opposition to the Birth Certificate Modernization Act today, the Republican members of the committee chose to play politics with our families.

"It was our hope that at least one Republican senator on the committee would side with the five Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives who voted in favor of House Bill 1185 because it upholds the Republican ideals of freedom, privacy, and limited government.

"This much-needed legislation would simply have brought Colorado law in line with existing policies at the federal level, and in doing so would have protected the privacy of transgender Coloradans and protected them from discrimination. Not only did dozens of transgender Coloradans and their families ask the committee to pass this bill today, but the Office of the State Registrar — which is the department in charge of issuing birth certificates — came out firmly in support of House Bill 1185 because of the its importance for transgender Coloradans. 

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