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Monday, December 16, 2013

Birth Certificate Sex Change Is Document Fraud

A proposed bill working its way through the New Jersey State Legislature would revise the history of transgendered people, allowing their birth certificates to reflect their after-acquired (that is, their new) gender.

This is revisionist history; in fact, it is worse. It is document fraud and is not appropriate.

Official documents must be sacrosanct.  The lack of credibility or ease of forgery causes numerous headaches for the victims of identity fraud and other crimes.  Such crimes are the ostensible reason why native American citizens born in Puerto Rico must provide more forms of identification than other native-born citizens, because birth certificates from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (an American possession since 1898) are so rampantly forged that they are no longer recognized as official, genuine government identification.

How does this affect transgendereds? The New Jersey bill would allow transgendered people the right to get new birth certificates to reflect their new gender.  The problem is that this entire process reflects, indeed it requires, recognition of both the gender of the person at birth and the person's new (that is, for the moment) gender. (Now in an age of sex-change operations, hormonal therapies and the like, gender can be changed as often as one wishes and can afford to pay for it.)

But what is a birth certificate? Is it not a document that identifies who you were at a defined moment -- at birth? Is it not a document that establishes, for example, where you were born?  Does that permanent fact -- a historical fact -- not entitle you to the rights and privileges of citizenship?

If you were born a male, your birth certificate reflects that historical fact, the fact that existed at the time of birth.

If you are an American, native-born, your birth certificate reflects that.

If you wish to change into a woman, there are all sorts of legal recognitions of your newly-acquired gender of which you can avail yourself.  You can get a current government ID stating, for example, that you are a female.  Steven can become Stephanie, or vice versa. 

What horrors might be unleashed by permitting the backdating of official records to reflect not what was a fact, but what you now wish was a fact way back when?

Do foreigners now get to change their birth certificates to reflect an American birthplace years ago, well, because they just wish it so?  

Or is the real meaning behind this bill the push to make nothing permanent, to remove the true meaning from anything and to give fearsome powers to government bureaucrats to change things as they see fit?

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