Transgender people could apply to change the gender on their birth certificates to reflect their identity under identical bills passed by each chamber of the General Assembly Tuesday.
The legislation would require the state to issue new birth certificates reflecting the name and gender of a transgender person if a medical practitioner certifies it is warranted. Those new birth certificates would not be allowed to be marked "amended."
Advocates for the change consider it a step forward in equality for the GLBT community.
It is not clear whether Gov. Larry Hogan plans to sign the bill, which still must undergo procedural votes before being sent to him for his signature. A spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening.
On the Senate floor, Baltimore County Democrat Sen. Delores Kelley argued that granting new birth certificates to transgender people was a civil rights issue.
Republican Sen. Ed Reilly of Anne Arundel County disputed whether it was fair to do so.
"I think we are providing folks an extra level of consideration at the detriment of others," he said, notably those who are adopted, who are able to get amended birth certificates but not brand new ones identifying their biological parents.
" I just think this bill goes a little bit too far."
Both chambers approved the bill by veto-proof margins. In the House, it was approved 85-50. In the Senate, it was approved 31-16.