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Colorado Senate kills bill on transgender birth certificates

March 28, 2017 Updated: March 28, 2017 at 11:59 am
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The LGBTQ agenda in the Colorado statehouse is officially retired for the rest of the session, as a Senate committee killed a bill to make it easier for transgender people to amend their birth certificate.

House Bill 1122 died on a 3-2 party-line vote in the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Monday for a third year in a row.

The same committee last week killed legislation to ban gay conversion therapy by licensed mental health professionals.

Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, vowed to introduce the bill again next year.

"I will every year until it becomes state law," he told the committee. "This issue is too important to some of my constituents and some of my friends, people who I love and care about who should have government documents that reflect who they are in their hearts and in their minds.

Sen. Lois Court, D-Denver, sounded almost angry just before the vote.

"I don't understand why people would come here and argue against someone having documentation to be who they really are," she said. "It makes no sense to me. I don't understand it. And none of the testimony I heard helped me understand it."

Republicans on the committee said it was about preserving an important government record of history.

"It no longer constrains people from living as who they want to be, who they are," said Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs. "It doesn't preclude those decisions that happen later on and the full expression of those decisions.

"The question for us is what should be the criteria for changing a birthday certificate, for changing a state document that records an actual event on which a host of other things are built upon."

Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins, said it's important in identifying bodies. She told the story of the paperwork she went through getting a divorce, changing her last name and going to court, just as transgender people have to do now to change a birth certificate.

She also talked about DNA was used to identify her ex-husband after a plane crash. Marble said changing the gender on a birth certificate could impede identifying bodies.

"This does mean a lot to me," she said.

Lawmakers again bypassed the chance to make life easier for a segment of Coloradans, said Daniel Ramos, executive of One Colorado, the state's largest LGBTQ advocacy organization.

"This is the second pro-LGBTQ legislation that has been introduced and killed in the Senate within a week and it's clear members of Senate leadership do not have the freedoms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans in mind," Ramos said in a statement.

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