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'Sex-change' Only on Paper? Health Watch Dog Backtracks on Proposal

New York City's Board of Health in a surprise move went back on a proposal that would have allowed people to change the sex on their birth //certificates, without physically undergoing a sex–change surgery.

This proposal was keenly seconded by mental health professionals and transgender supporters, who felt that the move would seek to remove any discrimination against people who desire to adopt the 'opposite' sexuality.

Amid growing concerns that such a move would hamper identification documents, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city's health commissioner, said, 'This is something we hadn't fully thought through, frankly. What the birth certificate shows does have implications beyond just what the birth certificate shows.'

However the board did consent a slight deviation in the 1971 ruling; people who have undergone a sex-change surgery, will now be allowed to change the sex on their birth certificates. In Dr. Frieden's opinion this would bring New York on par with others in the nation and would help ease transgender bias.

Dr. Frieden said, 'We felt going into it that it was fairly standard, that other states had it on the books. But as we looked into it, we discovered that it was implicit, not explicit.'

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