Illinois bill would ease gender-ID change for transgender citizens

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois House has endorsed a plan to make it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificates.

The Democratic-led chamber approved the proposal 63-43 Thursday. It would allow transgender citizens to change their gender designation with authorization from a medical professional confirming they have undergone medically appropriate treatment. Current law requires proof of a surgical operation.

Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago is sponsoring the measure. He says it would align state law with contemporary medical standards at the federal level.

At least a dozen other states no longer require surgery. Advocates say these updated standards help protect from discrimination transgender people who do not want or cannot afford surgery.

Republicans countered the current law permitting a change following surgery goes far enough.