Commonwealth Policy Center

Should people be allowed to change the sex indicated on their birth certificate? That issue isn’t theoretical anymore. Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill into law that says that Illinois residents can unilaterally change their own sex status on their birth certificates. Pritzker said, “Here in Illinois, we recognize that gender transition is a personal journey that doesn’t always follow a prescriptive medical path, but still deserves to be honored legally.” His rationale is that since there’s “increasing violence and hateful rhetoric against the trans, and nonbinary, and gender non-conforming community,” it’s important for the state to recognize the dignity of transgender residents. But does the state really need to allow people to change an objective legal document in order to prevent violence to this minority community and affirm their dignity? Illinois is the twelfth state to allow people to change their biological sex on their birth certificate. But has anyone considered the implications for all of society? It is should be self-evident that when bedrock legal documents and objective truth bend to the subjective feelings of citizens, it ultimately destabilizes society.