New York City residents will now be offered three options for describing their sexuality on their birth certificates: male, female, and “X.”
The law, which was approved in October by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), went into effect Tuesday, giving residents the opportunity to change the sex descriptors on their birth certificates to “X” if it reflects their “true gender identity.” Parents can likewise give newborns the same identifier.
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New York City joins California, Oregon and Washington state by allowing a third, undesignated option on birth certificates, according to The Associated Press. New Jersey is enacting a similar policy in February.
In 2014, New York City did away with a law barring residents from changing their sex descriptor on birth certificates unless they underwent gender reassignment surgeries.
When he signed the bill late last year, de Blasio said the change “will empower all New Yorkers, especially our transgender and gender nonbinary residents, to have birth certificates that better reflect their identity.”
Everyone has a right to their own identity. Everyone has a right to be themselves. That's why New Yorkers can now change their gender to M, F, or X on their birth certificate. To our transgender and gender non-binary neighbors, New York City sees you and has your back. pic.twitter.com/isKyClDK14
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 9, 2018
In a statement shared by his office Tuesday, de Blasio said New York City “respects your gender identity and the right to have it affirmed on your birth certificate.”
“Now New Yorkers can change the gender marker on their New York City birth certificates to ‘M,’ ‘F,’ or ‘X’ without a doctor’s note,” he added.