COLORADO HB19-1039: JUDE’S LAW IS HEADED TO GOVERNOR JARED POLIS

Denver, CO — Late tonight, the Colorado House concurred Jude’s Law, House Bill 19-1039: Identity Documents for Transgender Persons on a bipartisan vote. If signed into law, the bill will cut through the red tape for transgender and non-binary Coloradans to have access to identity documents that reflect their authentic selves.

On February 15th, the Colorado House passed House Bill 19-1039 on a bipartisan 41-22 vote, with Representative Donald Valdez, D-La Jara, the only democrat in either chamber to vote against the bill. Representatives Colin Larson, R-Littleton, and Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, were the two Republican votes in support of the bill. On April 17th, the Colorado Senate passed House Bill 19-1039 on a bipartisan 23-12 vote. Senators Don Coram, R-Montrose, Kevin Priola, R- Henderson, Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, and Jim Smallwood, R-Parker, were the Republican votes in support of the bill.

One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, released the following statement from Executive Director Daniel Ramos in reaction to the bill’s passage from the Senate:

“The first iteration of this legislation in 2015 was the first transgender-specific legislation to be introduced in Colorado. Four years later, Colorado is now a leader, being one of the first states in the country to have non-binary gender options and self-attestation for gender on a suite of identity documents, including birth certificates, driver’s license, and state identification cards. This progress wouldn’t be possible without folks like Jude sharing their stories.  While this is a huge step forward for transgender rights, there s still much work to do.”

“This bill is about personal freedom,” said Representative Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, co-chair of the LGBTQ caucus and House Prime Sponsor. “Not having updated ID documents interferes with the ability of transgender Coloradans to live their lives openly and honestly and to be their authentic selves.”

“Jude has testified at the capitol in support of this legislation for years now. We have watched her grow up in front of our eyes. She has been simply asking this legislature to give her the ability to live her most genuine life,” Rep. Esgar concluded.

Senate Prime Sponsor and co-chair of the Colorado LGBT Caucus Senator Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, provided the following remarks:

“For too long, transgender Coloradans have faced discriminatory red tape that makes it unnecessarily challenging to live openly as their true selves. I am proud that today we passed Jude’s Law, my bill to make it easier for transgender Coloradans to update ID documents without having to undergo surgery or appear in court. This new policy will help Colorado move toward a future where everyone has equal rights and an equal opportunity to be themselves.”

Jude (last name held to protect the family’s identity), the namesake of HB19-1039 Jude’s Law, has testified in support of similar legislation for the last four years in committee hearings.

“It may have taken us five years to get this bill passed, but every long drive to get to the capital, every ‘no’ vote, and every senator that would not look us in the eyes – have all been worth it because today we have all changed the lives of transgender Coloradans.”

An iteration of a transgender birth certification modernization act has been introduced in Colorado each session since 2015. In previous sessions, the Republican leadership in the Senate would send this legislation to the kill committee, prohibiting members from the opportunity to vote on the bill.

Jude’s Law will cut through the red tape for transgender Coloradans trying to update the gender on their birth certificate, allowing them to have the identification documents that match who they are. Coloradans will be able to update their gender on their birth certificate to M, F or X — without a surgery, a doctor’s note, or court order. This bill removes both the surgery requirement and court order requirement, allowing trans people the ability to self-identify on their ID document. The bill removes the publication requirement for a name change in order to reflect one’s gender identity. A new birth certificate will be issued instead of an amended birth certificate when updating gender.  Colorado is the third state in the country (including California and Oregon) to have non-binary gender options for both driver’s licenses and birth certificates.

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