Only 5 Public Hearings Scheduled to Address Birth Certificate Rule on Gender Change

Administrative Rule Proposes to Allow Changing Gender on Birth Certificate Based Off Preference

REXBURG, Idaho – The Idaho Department of Health & Welfare recently released its public hearings scheduled to address an administrative rule on vital statistics related to Idaho birth certificates. The scheduled rule hearings are the result of thousands of signatures gathered from concerned Idahoans earlier this summer after learning about the proposed rule change.

Of the 22 Idaho counties that submitted signatures to the department for negotiated rulemaking on the vital statistics birth certificate rule, only 5 public hearings were scheduled. As a result, many of those counties’ citizens who desire a voice in the rulemaking process may now find themselves having to take time off from work and drive up to two hours or more to attend these mid-morning hearings while counties such as Nez Perce (l;.who did not request a hearing) play host.

The controversial rule change was publicly released on July 3, 2019, while many Idahoans were preparing to celebrate our country’s independence. The rule deals with adjusting the indicator of sex on Idaho birth certificates – a legal document and primary form of identification. In other words, the update allows for citizens to change the gender on their birth certificate based on personal preference. Many Idaho citizens have expressed concern that the wording of the rule blurs the line between sex and gender identity. 

“Whatever you identify with gender-wise has nothing to do with your biological sex. Vital statistics deal with biological facts. You are either biologically a male or female. I recognize there is a tiny minority born with ambiguous genitalia. It makes sense to recognize those circumstances while still protecting the integrity of birth certificates as a legal document,” said Heather Goodworth, RN MPH-CPHN and a senior fellow with the Madison Liberty Institute. 

These hearings were requested by citizens throughout the state. As such, every citizen should have a fair chance to attend a scheduled hearing closer to home and in-person. 

Click HERE for more information on the associated rule hearings.

Click the link below to view the PDF version of our official release.

Only 5 Public Hearings Scheduled to Address Birth Certificate Rule on Gender Change