On March 22, 2011, The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund sued the City of New York for requiring that transgender individuals undergo surgery in order to have their birth certificates corrected to reflect their current sex designation. The basis of their lawsuit is that this decades-old statute does not reflect the current reality of transgender individuals-namely, that reconstructive surgery is not an ultimate factor in whether someone can transcend gender. Furthermore, reconstructive surgery is a very expensive procedure that most insurance companies will not cover, therefore making it hard for a lot of transgender individuals to obtain.

The TLDEF also argues that the New York City statute violates the New York City Human Rights Law, particularly its  gender identity and expression clause and provisions against discrimination, prejudice, and intolerance against people who have a more complex gender identity and expression. This case is brought on behalf of three transgender individuals whose have attempted to change their birth certificates, even supplying necessary medical documentation, only to be denied because they have not undergone specific medical procedures. It will be interesting to see how the city responds to the lawsuit and what the ultimate result will be.

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