New Trans Bill Ensures that Death Certificates Will Accurately Record Gender for All
PROVIDENCE—Yesterday Rhode Island became the third jurisdiction to adopt the “Respect in Death” bill, a law that ensures transgender people’s gender identities are respected on death certificates. Governor Gina Raimondo signed H7765/ S2614 into law.
The new law sets clear procedures for funeral directors and others to create death certificates that accurately reflect a transgender person’s gender. It passed both the Senate and House by healthy margins. California and the District of Columbia have similar laws.
“Everyone deserves to have their dignity honored in death,” said Patience Crozier, Senior Staff Attorney at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), who provided testimony in support of the law. “We are thrilled that transgender Rhode Islanders now have that assurance. We were proud to work with TGI Network Rhode Island, LGBTQ Action RI, and the ACLU of RI on making this a reality.”
A lack of guidance on this issue has meant that death certificates sometimes wrongly reflect the sex assigned a transgender person at birth, rather than their lived gender. This law ensures that the identity of transgender Rhode Islanders is respected upon death.
Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.
[From a News Release]