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CHICAGO (CBS) — The State of Illinois is ending the requirement that people who change their gender on their birth certificates submit proof of genital surgery.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state over its policy, which required people to undergo sex change surgery and prove they had done so in order to change their birth certificates.
A court-supervised agreement changed the policy on Monday.
There is still a requirement in place that transgender people undergo some kind of surgery to change their birth certificates, but it no longer needs to be genital surgery, the Chicago Phoenix explained.
Operations that could fit the new criteria include a double mastectomy, a hysterectomy, an orchiectomy or removal of the testicles, or surgery for facial feminization, the Phoenix reported.
The Phoenix calls the decision a step forward for transgender people, who often cannot afford gender reassignment surgery or do not feel the need to undergo it, the Phoenix reported.
The decision also includes a retroactive component, under which people who already have been denied a change to their birth certificate because they did not undergo genital surgery can now receive the change, provided that they have undergone one of the other approved surgeries, the Phoenix reported.
The Illinois Department of Public Health plans to contact everyone who has been denied a change to their birth certificate going back to 2008 – the most recent year for which the department has records, the publication reported.