By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - A bill moving through the Hawaii House would enable transgender people to switch the gender identification on their birth certificates without having a sex change operation.
The bill passed out of the House Committee on Health Wednesday.
The bill lifts the surgery requirement and instead calls for a statement from a licensed medical or mental health provider.
Supporters say having identification that's in synch with a person's name and appearance could reduce harassment in schools and the workplace. They argue requiring surgery is outdated and prohibits transgender people from fully participating in society.
Opponents say a birth certificate is a historical record. They say allowing people to change it could impact couples contemplating a marriage or officiants performing the ceremony.
The bill now goes to the Senate Committee on Judiciary.