Bill proposes to allow legal change to sex designation on the birth certificate
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Sen. William A. Parkinson recently introduced a bill that would allow individuals to change the legal sex designation on their birth certificates.
“This issue was brought up to me by a constituent, whose nephew was experiencing severe depression because of the existing law,” Parkinson said. “The reality is that if you identify as a certain gender, you should be able to get your birth certificate to reflect that.”
Bill 86-37 would allow individuals to request the court to change their sex designation. This proposal was first introduced by former Sen Fernando Esteves in the 34th Guam Legislature.
Current Guam law allows transgender individuals to change the sex on their birth certificate only after undergoing transitional surgery.
Parkinson said Bill 86-37 would allow a legal pathway for transgender individuals to change the sex on their birth certificate without surgery, with a court order and testimony from a therapist, psychologist or counselor. The order would be attached to the birth certificate to preserve a record of the change.
“Transgender people are born that way, and no amount of bullying, harassment, or pressure to conform can change that. Having to undergo transition surgery is something that many of our trans-community cannot do here, and it is also quite costly," Parkinson said.
"This bill would provide another legal avenue besides surgery for the trans community to get the recognition they deserve," he added.
The bill was introduced on March 31, which was marked International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.
In 2015, the Guam Legislature unanimously passed Bill 102-33, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, identity or expression in employment.
according to the University of Hawaii - Manoa’s Library on Gender Identity and Sexual Identity in the Pacific and Hawai'i, identity expressions that would be defined as homosexual or transgendered using western vocabulary often fulfilled important and well-established cultural or ritual functions within various parts of the Pacific.
“We are proud to cosponsor and promote our community by protecting their rights," said Sen. Roy A. B. Quinata, a co-sponsor of the bill. "I’d like to give thanks for the opportunity and excited to be LGBTQIA+ to help protect the road for parity.”