CONCORD — People born in New Hampshire will be able to obtain a revised birth certificate identifying them as male, female or neither male nor female as long as they have a notarized statement from their health care provider, if a bill passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday becomes law.
HB 446, which passed the House in a bipartisan 224-125 vote, establishes a procedure for an individual to “obtain a new birth certificate to reflect a sex designation other than that which was assigned at birth.”
Nineteen Republicans joined most Democrats in supporting the bill. Only two Democrats were opposed.
New Hampshire birth certificates can now be changed by court order for a variety of reasons, including changing gender and name information for people who’ve had a sex change operation.
The bill passed on Thursday would allow for a change in vital records absent any surgical procedure, as long as the applicant can produce the notarized statement from a licensed health care provider stating that the individual is “male, female or neither … and is reasonably expected to continue as such for the foreseeable future,” according to the bill.
A new birth certificate would be issued, but the original would also be retained as a permanent record.
Rep. Jeanine Notter, R-Merrimack, argued against the bill.
“The integrity of vital records will be compromised,” she said. “The purpose of vital records is not to affirm feelings.”
Rep. Walter Stapleton, R-Claremont, suggested the state offer a different document, which he called “a gender reassignment certificate” while leaving the original birth certificate in place.”
That idea failed to gain any traction in the House.
“We already change birth certificates for all kinds of reasons, including things like adoption,” said Rep. Lucy Weber, D-Walpole. “Taking this next step will harm no one, will delete no records and will provide an enormously important affirmation to our transgender and non-binary citizens.”
The bill now moves to the state Senate.