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Wis. gov. orders gender-neutral birth certificates for parents who don’t identify as mother, father

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Parents in Wisconsin will have the option of choosing “gender-neutral” terms for themselves instead of mother and father on their baby's birth certificate, Gov. Tony Evers and the state's Department of Health Services announced this week. 

The new birth certificates, which will be available starting on Thursday, will include "parent-parent” in addition to “mother-father.” The gender-neutral terminology reflects the governor's push to incorporate trans language in official government documents. 

“This change reflects my and my administration's commitment to gender-neutral terminology and to recognizing that Wisconsin families are diverse and should be valued and respected,” Evers said in a statement on Monday. 

“I am glad to see this change being made as we continue to update our state policies and procedures to better reflect the Wisconsinites we serve,” he continued. 

Terminology changes on the birth certificates also include the term "parent giving birth” instead of “mother.”

The new forms will be available in three languages: English, Spanish and Hmong.

Wisconsin DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said updating birth certificate forms is “one important step on the long road to adopting gender-neutral language in all of our external documents.” 

“We are working hard to make Wisconsin a more inclusive, equitable, and just state and this update ensures our LGBTQ Wisconsinites are seen and heard when welcoming a child into the world,” Timberlake said in a statement. 

The governor also praised the decision on social media.

“As we celebrate #Pride, @DHSWI and I are excited to announce that, starting Thursday, Wisconsin parents will have a gender-neutral option for parents. This change reflects our continued commitment to recognizing that every family deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” Evers tweeted.

Rep. Gae Magnafici, the Republican chairwoman of the Assembly Family Law committee, said the policy "is something that even the best satire writers cannot imagine," the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

"As the Assembly chair of Family Law, a nurse, and a mom, I am insulted. I’m calling on Governor Evers to stop downplaying womanhood, stop downplaying motherhood, and stop downplaying settled science," Magnafici said.

UnityPoint Health-Meriter President and CEO Sue Erickson, however, praised this action, arguing that same-sex couples are not reflected on birth certificates.  

“Families have told us that a birth certificate that doesn't accurately reflect their growing family can take away a piece of the joy when welcoming a new baby,” Erickson said in a statement. 

“We are so pleased that Wisconsin created a more inclusive birth certificate form to reflect the families of our state and community,” she added. “This change allows all birthing parents to focus solely on their newborn.”

This comes after the Biden administration was criticized for using so-called “bias-free language” in regard to gender and replacing the term “mothers” with “birthing people” as part of their push to use trans-inclusive language. 

On the first day of June, Wisconsin flew the rainbow pride flag at the state Capitol to celebrate what LGBT activists call "LGBT Pride Month." 

“For the third year in a row, we kicked off #PrideMonth today by raising the Rainbow Pride Flag above the State Capitol. It's never been more important to celebrate the vibrance, resilience, and contributions of our LGBTQ neighbors who help make our state great,” Evers tweeted on June 1. 

Evers also signed an executive order on June 1 to direct state agencies “to use gender-neutral language” in external communications. 

Emily Wood is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: emily.wood@christianpost.com

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