California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law that will ensure a trans person’s correct gender identity is reflected on their death certificate.
The Respect After Death Act requires officials who complete death certificates to consult government-issued documents, evidence from medical procedures, and other proof of a person’s gender identity, presumably to avoid the requirement of listing a person’s name as it appears on their birth certificate.
Masen Davis of the Transgender Law Center, a cosponsor of the bill, said this was a “common-sense bill that will help protect the dignity of our loved ones upon their passing.”
The Respect After Death Act was inspired by the passing of San Francisco artist and advocate Christopher Lee, who was misgendered after his death in 2012.
“I’m so happy,” said Lee’s close friend Chino Scott-Chung, said in a statement on Friday. “It brings us great solace to know that Christopher’s legacy will live on to protect the dignity of other transgender people, and that their friends and families will hopefully not have to endure what we did.”