Starting on Thursday, parents in Wisconsin will have the option to choose "gender-neutral" terms instead of mother or father on their baby's birth certificate.
In a statement released on Monday, Democratic Governor Tony Evers and the state's department of health services announced that the new birth certificates had been updated to include the gender-neutral "parent-parent' in addition to "mother-father."
"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," Governor Evers said. "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."
Evers had previously signed an executive order requiring state agencies to use gender-neutral language in their external communications.
The birth certificate will also include changes such as "parent giving birth" instead of "mother." People wanting the new certificate can get one in English, Spanish, and Hmong.
"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," said Karen Timberlake, the DHS Secretary-designee. "Updating our birth certificate forms is one important step on the long road to adopting gender-neutral language in all of our external documents."
According to Sue Erickson, President and CEO at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, "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."
"We are so pleased that Wisconsin created a more inclusive birth certificate form to reflect the families of our state and community," she continued. "This change allows all birthing parents to focus solely on their newborn."
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ civil organization, also praised the addition of the gender-neutral certificates.
"We hope other states follow with inclusive gender options on official documents,' the HRC tweeted. "Thank you @GovEvers for your leadership."
Beginning July 1 parents in Wisconsin will have a new, gender-neutral option for identifying the parents of a child.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 28, 2021
We hope other states follow with inclusive gender options on official documents. Thank you @GovEvers for your leadership. https://t.co/qbY1zFekUz
Meanwhile, Rep. Gae Magnafici, the Republican chairwoman of the Assembly Family Law committee, described the effort as "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," she argued.
The new policy comes after the recent criticism of the Biden Administration for adopting gender-neutral language, such as "birthing people" in place of "mothers."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Kathryn8
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.