The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare slipped a proposed rule into consideration at the end of this legislative session that would requires the State Registrar to allow people who identify as transgender to change their birth certificates without any sort of legal proceeding or medical procedure. Under this temporary regulation, any person could change the sex on their original birth certificate whenever they wanted and as many times as they choose. Further, this new birth certificate would eliminate any record of their biological sex.
The proposed regulation creates immense security and accuracy issues. First, birth certificates are regularly used fraudulently. Allowing a person to change their sex without any sort of guarantee about who the person is or that they have actually transitioned can be an open door for identity fraud. Secondly, birth certificates are meant to be public records that help track genealogy and are a basis for all other official government documents, such as ID cards, passports, etc. Birth certificates are also one of the most fraudulently used government documents by individuals who are trying to hide or change their identity.
The proposed regulations, which would allow an individual to change their sex without any indication on the birth certificate of the person’s true sex, creates more opportunities for identity fraud. For example, the efficiency and ability of law enforcement is greatly hampered if a criminal is allowed to permanently change his birth certificate by changing his sex. If law enforcement has profiled a male suspect (through say DNA) and is searching for a male, the real male suspect could not only be living as a female but have an “original” birth certificate identifying him as “female,” with no indication he had changed his sex.
Finally, this temporary rule is also vague, further opening the door for abuse. The rule puts no limitations on how many times a person can change their sex. Under the rule a person could change their sex an infinite number of times. This would further confuse records and documents that are meant to be consistent and only changed under extraordinary circumstances.
The comment period for this rule is closed, however, the legislature will be considering this important topic in the next legislative session, so it is vital that we show our strong resistance to this new temporary regulation. We have asked the Department for a public hearing on this topic and your input will be vital in that discussion. Please let the Department know that you strongly oppose any sort of regulation that will allow the mutilation of such an important document.
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In Christ’s Service,
Interim Policy Director