Cuomo signs law adding ‘X’ gender option to NY driver’s licenses and birth certificates

On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) officially signed a law adding the “X” gender designation to driver’s licenses and birth certificates in the state under the Gender Recognition Act.

The “X” indicates nonbinary, intersex, undesignated, or other preferred genders.  According to a press release, also included in the legislation is the option to choose “parent” on a birth certificate rather than “mother” or “father.” It also provides protection against discriminatory practices by no longer requiring a New Yorker to publish in a newspaper their former names, current address, and date and place of birth after changing their name.

Individuals who call themselves “nonbinary” will now have the ability to petition a court in regards to their preferred gender designation. That petition can now be sealed. The new law also precludes courts from requiring an individual to notify federal immigration authorities following their sex designation change. It also permits space to be added to a driver’s license to indicate if the person is a veteran.

“Every New Yorker deserves to be free from discrimination and have state-issued identification and processes that respect them for who they are, recognize their gender identity, and protect their safety,” Cuomo proclaimed. “New York continues to lead the way in ensuring LGBT people are treated equally in every part of the law and society, and this bill is another landmark that ensures New Yorkers can express ourselves for who we are.”

(Video Credit: MyNBC5-WPTZ)

Senator Brad Hoylman (D-NY) gushed over the enactment of a third gender on government IDs: “Getting the Gender Recognition Act over the finish line and signed into law is a wonderful way to celebrate Pride month in New York. Each and every New Yorker should be recognized for who they are by their government. But today, it remains incredibly hard for many New Yorkers to get the identification documents they require for travel, to get a job, and even to go to school. This bill will change that, making it easier for gender non-conforming, transgender, non-binary, and intersex New Yorkers – including minors – to get IDs that accurately reflect their identity. I am thankful for the advocates in those communities for their input on this critical bill. I’m thankful for Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell for championing this bill with me. And I’m proud to live in and represent a state that respects and values the needs of these communities – particularly as queer, and especially transgender people, have come under attack in recent months across our country.”

Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell (D-NY) also crowed over the signing, “Today represents a milestone in our fight to secure LGBTQ rights. When I first joined the Assembly, LGBTQ people could not marry the person they loved; were not yet protected from workplace discrimination, and still faced the risk of conversion therapy. New Yorkers could even use sexual orientation and gender expression as a legal justification for the murder of gay and trans people. In the past decade, we have changed all of that. Today, we celebrate love and equality. On the 10 year anniversary of marriage equality, we can look back with pride on how that victory laid the groundwork for a decade of progress to protect and support the LGBTQ community. I am proud of our progress on LGBTQ rights in the last ten years and am deeply honored to continue that work with the Gender Recognition Act, which will make life safer for trans individuals, reduce stigma, and affirm trans individuals’ identities. Our work for equal rights is far from over, but we have proven that love is love, that trans lives matter, and that we are ready for the fights ahead.”

“The Gender Recognition Act won’t just allow people to access accurate identity documents,” New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman stated. “It will bring an end to the government-sanctioned stigma, red tape, and discrimination that has accompanied New Yorkers seeking identity documents that reflect who they are for far too long.”

The act was signed into law on the ten-year anniversary of gay marriage becoming legal in New York state and will take effect in 180 days.

Not everyone was a fan of Cuomo’s new gender act:


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