Out & About Nashville: Senator Sara Kyle of Memphis to sponsor birth certificate legislation

State Sen. Sara Kyle was the sponsor of the Tennessee Non Discrimination Act earlier this year and has agreed to reintroduce the Birth Certificate Fairness Act in 2016.

Sen. Kyle was the keynote speaker at the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC).

Kyle, who has pledged to introduce legislation allowing trans people in Tennessee to get the gender on their birth certificates changed, told the assembled activists and supporters, that the TTPC is “allowing me to do something that my family has always done, and that’s fight for equality.... Now it’s my turn to fight for equal rights. It’s a drive that’s with me every day.”

Briefly addressing the history of women’s rights, Kyle pledged that “the fight for gender equality still goes on today. Some progress yes, but there is a lot more yet to come…. The key to moving society forward is never give up and never lose hope.”

“There is no doubt that being transgender in today’s society is unreasonably hard, but there is hope that one day this will not be the case,” she said. “Thanks to organizations like yours, and more Americans that are joining your efforts, we have become more familiar with what the term means, that it covers a very extensive range of individuals, and that don’t identify with the gender on their birth certificates. And that is why I’ve decided to sponsor a bill for the upcoming session that provides for birth certificate to be changed to reflect gender.”

Besides being a matter of social justice, Kyle said, the move, which is unlikely to pass but which she pledges to continue to promote, would bring the state in line with the rest of the states, and federal law. “Currently Tennessee is the only state that completely bans such changes, and since that ban entered the books in 1977 no one looks at us and says, ‘We want to follow you!’ And that includes every state that borders ours, all of which allow at least some to change their birth certificates.”


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