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July 10, 2013

GLAA praises passage of birth certificate, marriage officiant bills

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013

For Release:
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Contact: Rick Rosendall
(202) 667-5139

GLAA praises passage of birth certificate, marriage officiant bills


The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance celebrates the passage of two of our legislative priorities at today’s D.C. Council legislative meeting: Bill 20-142, the JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013 (which allows people who undergo treatment related to gender transition to obtain original birth certificates that match their gender identity); and Bill 20-118, the Marriage Officiant Amendment Act of 2013 (which expands the list of those who can serve as officiants at couples’ wedding ceremonies). Both bills passed their second readings as part of the consent agenda.

GLAA thanks the members of the Council for passing both bills, in particular:

For Bill 20-142 (birth certificates): Thanks to Councilmember David Catania, who wrote and introduced the bill and named it after JaParker Deoni Jones, a young transgender woman who was murdered at a Metrobus stop in February 2012. Thanks also to Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Chair of the Committee on Health; and Councilmember Tommy Wells, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, for seeing the bill through to passage. Thanks also to their committee staff, including (at Health) Senior Policy Advisor Ronald King, Committee Director Rayna Smith, and CM Alexander's Legislative Counsel Terrance Norflis; and (at Judiciary) Committee Director Anne Phelps. Special kudos to Andy Bowen (at DC Trans Coalition) and Lisa Mottet (at National Center for Transgender Equality, formerly at National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) for their leadership as advocates for the bill. Thanks also to those who joined us in testifying for it.

For Bill 20-118 (marriage officiants): Thanks to Councilmember Tommy Wells, who wrote and introduced the bill and shepherded it through his Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. Thanks also to Committee Director Anne Phelps. Special kudos to Bob Summersgill for his leadership as an advocate for the bill. Thanks also to those who joined us in testifying for it.

Both bills now head to Mayor Vincent Gray for his signature, and then to Capitol Hill for the congressional review period of 30 legislative-calendar days (days when Congress is in session). Due to the number of upcoming congressional recesses, the bills are likely to become law in November.

Founded in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington (GLAA) is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization that defends the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Nation's Capital. GLAA lobbies the D.C. Council, monitors government agencies, educates and rates local candidates, and works in coalitions to defend the safety, health, and equal rights of LGBT families. GLAA remains the nation's oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.

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