Birth certificate sex change bill fails

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L-R: Sen. Fernando Esteves (R), Sen. Wil Castro (R), Sen. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. (D), and Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson (D) attend final session of the 34th Legislature on Monday, December 17, 2018.

Guam – Chalk one up for records preservation, and chalk off another attempt to assert the rights and privileges of the transgender community.

Colleagues of the 34th Legislature shot down outgoing Sen. Fernando Esteves’s (R) Bill 291-34 (COR), aimed at allowing people to change the legal sex designation on their birth certificates.

While attempting to get the bill into the voting file last week, Esteves cautioned fellow senators that there were powerful forces in the community who did not want this bill on the agenda. But whether through personal conviction or outside influence, his fellow lawmakers demonstrated they weren’t about to hand this decision up to the governor.

Arguments challenging the bill ranged from prison population sorting to gender-sensitive heart and kidney transplantation concerns. Esteves argued that those issues would sort themselves out according to existing law. He said nowadays gender boils down to self-identity, while sex is a matter of a person’s actual physical makeup. Esteves expressed a desire to afford transgender people respect in the face of constant humiliation.