Sunday, 26 February 2012

Rep. Teddy Casiño's response on HB 4530

Below is Rep. Teddy Casiño's response on his co-authorship of HB 4530 or "An act further authorizing the city of municipal civil registrar or the consul general to correct clerical or typographical errors in the date of birth or sex or a person appearing in the civil register without need of a judicial order amending for this purpose the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 9048." STRAP is opposed to this measure as it makes the process of changing sex in the birth certificate violative of privacy and impossible for those who identify as transgender/transsexual.

HB 4530 Co-authorship

Dear Friends in the LGBT Community,
Warm greetings!

In response to some discussions in the LGBT community about the recently passed bill on correcting entries in birth certificates, I wish to make the following clarifications.

1. I was never an author of any of the measures that went into the final bill (HB 4530 titled: An Act Further Authorizing The City Or Municipal Civil Registrar Or The Consul General To Correct Clerical Or Typographical Error In The Date Of Birth Or Sex Of A Person Appearing In The Civil Register Without Need Of A Judicial Order). Instead, I was automatically included as a co-author of the measure after attending a meeting of the Committee on Justice sometime in May 2011, where a number of bills, including HB 4530, were apparently approved. I did not vote for or against the measure and was not a co-author of any similar measure (House Bills 214, 237, 1767, 2438, 2681, 2795, 3834).

2. The intention of the bill is merely to allow ordinary citizens to correct CLERICAL or TYPOGRAPHICAL errors in their birth certificates without having to go through the courts. There is nothing objectionable in that.

3. Technically, transgender persons who want to change their gender identity in their birth certificates are not covered by the bill, since such a change is neither a clerical nor typographical error. Thus, the law specifically states that changes in gender due to medical procedures are excluded from the coverage of the law.

4. I agree, however, that the wording of the law tends to discriminate against transgender persons, especially those who have undergone a medical procedure to change their sex. It would have been better if the law merely stated that the law does not cover persons who deliberately change their gender identity, as corrections of this nature are neither clerical nor typographical.

5. I shall withdraw my name as a co-author of the said measure and will take steps, if it is still possible, to correct the discriminatory language found in the said bill.

I deeply appreciate your concern on bringing this issue to me and allowing me to clarify my position. And I welcome all your views and proposals, for I would definitely like to be informed further on LGBT issues and concerns.

Thank you very much!

Teddy Casiño

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