I support the recommended amendment for the following reasons:
1. According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), best practices for a modernized policy means recognizing that gender transition is an individualized process that is not the same for all transgender people; and, a surgery requirement does not align with current understanding in transgender health care.
2. The policy should allow for gender change upon submission of a statement from a licensed provider, rather than requiring a court order. Forcing people to discuss their gender identity and any medical treatment they have undergone in open court can cause significant discomfort and be psychologically traumatic. Further, the expense of securing legal counsel is beyond the means of many transgender people, a significant number of whom are unemployed or underemployed because of employment and education discrimination.
3. It is important to take the gender change process out of the courts and into the hands of the vital records agency will bring consistency and efficiency to the process, and also has the benefit of reserving court resources for more appropriate matters.