California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that will allow transgender people in the state easier access to changing the name and gender marker on their legal identification. The law, AB 1121, was authored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins and co-sponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center.
Specifically, AB 1121 amends the procedures for changing one's name or gender marker on their legal identification, and allow transgender people to apply directly to the Office of Vital Records, bypassing the previously required court hearing and a $435 fee. AB 1121 also exempts transgender people from having to pay to publish a notice of the intended name change in a local newspaper for four weeks.
“As a transgender man myself, I have experienced both the discrimination that often accompanies having identity documents that do not match one’s gender identity as well as the burdensome process of revising identity documents," said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. "This important bill will mean more transgender people will be able to go about their daily activities – from voting to applying for jobs – without being unfairly outed or put in danger."
GLAAD urges the media to report on this important change in California's law that will remove barriers for transgender people seeking updated identity documents.