Openly bisexual Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a historic transgender equality bill into law Wednesday. The law will make it easier and cheaper for transgender residents of the state to change the gender identity listed on their birth certificate. Residents can now also update their birth certificates privately.
The new process involves filling out only one form, whereas previously residents who wanted to amend the gender marker on their birth certificates had to seek a court order, which would then be public record. Public information about a resident’s change to a birth certificate could leave them vulnerable to harassment or discrimination. The new law also allows the record of any legal gender identity change to be sealed.
Oregon is only the second state to enact transgender discrimination prevention measures, following California.
Governor Brown became the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected governor last November. She joined three openly LGBTQ state legislators — including House Speaker Tina Kotek — who also championed the bill. Together they are a shining example of how LGBTQ representation translates into action, in this case the passage of pro-equality legislation and protection of trans rights.