DENVER (AP) — Transgender Coloradans could change the gender listed on their birth certificates without having surgery or seeking a court order under legislation passed Friday by the state House.

The bill would align Colorado law on birth certificates with federal policies for those changing their gender on Social Security cards, U.S. passports and other documents. Nine states and the District of Columbia have similar laws.

Colorado law requires transgender residents to get a court order stating their gender has changed by surgery before obtaining a birth certificate that is listed as “amended.” The bill requires a resident to submit a written request and a statement from a medical provider to obtain a new certificate from the state registrar.

Democratic Rep. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City, who sponsored the bill, called it another step in a broad civil rights movement that saw the U.S. Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage nationwide last year.

“This is really, at the end of the day, about making their lives a just little bit easier,” Moreno said. “Transgender Coloradans already face discrimination in housing, in employment, in almost every aspect of their lives.”

Five Republicans joined Democrats in passing the bill and sending it to the Republican-controlled Senate, which killed similar legislation last year.

“This legislation will help thousands of transgender Coloradans, and it harms no one,” said Laura Reinsch, political director of One Colorado, which advocates for gay, transgender and bisexual residents.

By JAMES ANDERSON, Associated Press

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