HELENA, Mont. — Montana’s health department is taking public comment on a rule change that would make it easier for transgender and intersex residents to correct the gender on their birth certificate.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services held a public hearing Thursday on the proposed change , which would no longer require people to provide a court order saying their sex was changed by a surgical procedure.

Supporters said it would put Montana’s policy in line with other states while opponents argued any changes should be implemented by the Legislature, the Independent Record reported .

Under the proposed new rules, people could correct their birth certificate by submitting a form certifying they have undergone gender transition or have an intersex condition, submit a government issued identification with the correct gender or submit a court order.

Democratic Rep. Kim Abbott of Helena, testifying in support of the changes on behalf of the Montana Human Rights Network, said the existing rules requiring a court order amount to an invasion of privacy.

Bowen Greenwood, with the Montana Family Foundation, opposed swapping the word “sex” for “gender” in the new rule, which also adds a definition for “intersex condition.”

Nick Domitrovich, with the health department’s legal affairs office, said the language of the proposed rule allows gender to be determined by the person’s own internal sense of gender and requires them to complete an affidavit attesting to that fact.

Greenwood and others argued the Legislature should make any changes.

The department is taking public comment on the proposed rule change through Oct. 20.


Information from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com