The article was revised after talking to Masen Davis of the Transgender Law Center (TLC) to more accurately reflect what the signing of this bill accomplishes.
California’s AB 433 — the Vital Records Modernization Act — is the bill that actually changes things a lot for transsexual people who were born in California, or live in California and wish to officially change their legal sex in California.
Currently, the applicable section for legally changing trans people’s birth certificates in California is currently found in California Health And Safety Code Sections 103425-103445, and it hasn’t been updated since the 1970′s — when Gov. Brown, in his first terms as Governor, signed that code change into law.
A California Court Of Appeal recently ruled that trans people born in California could change their California birth certificates without being California state residents. One of the changes that AB 433 accomplishes is codify that ruling into law.
But probably more importantly, trans people can now change their California birth certificates without genital reconstruction surgery of any sort. From the Equality California Fact sheet for AB 433 (emphasis added):
The Vital Statistics Modernization Act would alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when they have identity documents that do not reflect who they are. AB 433 would streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit a gender change petition in any jurisdiction in the State of California. Neither of these are changes in the law; it is simply a matter of making the process accessible to those who need it. AB 433 would also allow people who were born or live in California to use a simplified process that requires medical certification from an attending physician that the individual has undergone treatment as determined by their physician to correct identification documents to reflect their gender. This change conforms California’s standards to the standards set by the federal Government.
This change brings California closer than any other state to a change in the Model Law that the National Center For Transgender Equality (NCTE) recently proposed.
The text of AB 433 is here.
Personally, I was born in California. I qualified under the under the current rules to change my sex in California, but I’m likely going to wait until after January 1st to file for that legal change. This will be to verify the new California law works as advertized.