Jude and her parents
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Jude, the 13-year-old for whom "Jude's Law" is named, with her parents and Sen. Dominick Moreno in a recent visit to the state Senate.

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The state Senate on Wednesday approved, on a bipartisan vote, a bill that would allow transgender Coloradans to obtain new birth certificates instead of amended ones.

House Bill 1039 is the fifth, and likely final, effort to allow transgender individuals to seek new birth certificates without being required to first go through gender reassignment surgery or obtain a court order.

The Senate approved the measure on a 23-12 vote after early passage by the House. But since the bill was amended several times in the Senate, it must go back to the House for their concurrence on those amendments.

Under HB 1039, the state registrar in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment can issue a new birth certificate without a court order or gender reassignment surgery, and those who have already received an amended certificate can seek a new one.

Surgery isn’t always an option, supporters say, for medical reasons, or when the transgender individual is a minor or can’t afford the expensive surgery.

Daniel Ramos of One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for LGBTQ Coloradans, said in a February committee hearing that a birth certificate marked with “amended” leads to questions, which could force someone to out themselves as transgender or nonbinary, which can result in harassment or violence.

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The amendment placed on the bill by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month deals mostly with how minors can obtain new birth certificates. A parent or legal guardian must attest that the sex designation on the person’s ID card does not align with that person’s gender identity.

For minors, a medical professional also must sign an affidavit that the minor is undergoing a gender transition and that the medical provider believes the gender designation should be changed.

The amendment also makes it clear that it’s a one-time-only deal. Any further requests will require a court order.

The bill is named “Jude’s Law” for a now 13-year-old transgender girl who has testified on the bill for the past four years.

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