Questions over transgender students, sports and birth certificates recently raised in North Carolina


CHICAGO, Ill. — The American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest doctors association, adopted new policies at their national meeting on June 9, clarifying that transgender patients should not be forced to undergo sex reassignment surgery before obtaining new birth certificates.

Most states across the country require some sort of sex reassignment surgery before a new birth certificate reflecting a transgender individual’s new gender is issued.

In a report, the AMA said patients should be able to obtain identification documents consistent with their gender identity, rather than their birth anatomy. Such processes “are essential to basic social and economic functioning,” the Associated Press reported.

“The AMA’s support for eliminating surgery requirements to update their birth certificate will send a strong message to states that lag behind on these policies,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in written statement reported by The AP. “Currently only five states and the District of Columbia have modernized their policies to make it clear that surgery is not required to update a birth certificate.”

Keisling added, “Transgender people should not be required to have any specific, costly medical treatments in order to carry the accurate and consistent ID we all need to function every day in the United States.”

Questions over gender identity and birth certificates were highlighted recently in North Carolina, where the statewide high school athletic association adopted new rules saying students could only play on gender-segregated sports matching their birth certificates.

Advocates with the National Center for Transgender Equality and National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project called the new North Carolina High School Athletic Association rules troubling — especially considering the overwhelming international medical standards which prohibit sex reassignment surgeries for minors.

— Read more on the new transgender athletics rule at


The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention says the denomination won’t relax its position on same-sex marriage and transgender identity, even as courts across the country are striking down gay marriage bans in record numbers and the convention tries to bolster its membership.

The U.N. General Assembly has elected Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa to be its next president amid controversy over his country’s anti-gay laws and allegations that he abused his office and accepted bribes from foreign companies.

A London man may never see again following an anti-gay attack outside a London club on June 8. London police are looking for one man and two women in connection with a chemical attack on three men in the Vauxhall area, London’s gay district, early on June 8.

The New York State Assembly on June 10 again approved the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. It is the seventh time the measure has passed in the Assembly, but has never come to a vote on the floor of the State Senate.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.