Thu. Jul 29th, 2021

Non-binary gender designations will soon be marked with an “X” on driver’s licenses for New Yorkers who choose to do so under a law approved Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The measure will also make name changes easier for transgender and non-binary people through a revised way of sealing documents as part of an effort to reduce potential discrimination. And New Yorkers would be able to amend their birth certificates and use a designation of mother, father or parent for the first time. 

“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 said. “New York continues to lead the way in ensuring LGBTQ 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.” 

The new law creates a process for court petitioning to change a person’s gender designation or recognize their gender identity. Records can also be sealed to guard against retaliation or discrimination. 

The bill was signed on the 10-year anniversary of the passage and approval of a bill legalizing same-sex marriages in New York. 

“Today, we celebrate love and equality,” said Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell. “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.”