New York City residents will now have a new gender option "X" on their birth certificates. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill authorizing the change into law Tuesday.
"To all trans and nonbinary New Yorkers: We see you, hear you and respect you. Starting in 2019, all New Yorkers will be able to change their gender on their birth certificate to M, F or X — without a doctor's note," the mayor's office tweeted.
Here in New York City, you have the right to affirm your gender identity. Starting in 2019, all New Yorkers will be… https://t.co/VLcPzef4UL— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@Mayor Bill de Blasio)1546197638.0
The NYC City Council passed the bill in October.
What are the details?
The law allows those born in New York City to change the existing gender marker on their birth certificate from male or female to "X" by attesting it reflects gender identity. In other words, a medical assessment or physician's note is not required to claim the option.
The new category only applies after birth through the amendment process, an NYC health department spokesman confirmed to TheBlaze.
The gender marker for newborns' birth certificates will correspond with their sex assigned at birth.
Parents of transgender youth under 18 are permitted to submit an amendment request on their child's behalf. Those over 18 must file the amendment themselves.
Prior to 2014, NYC law allowed gender changes on birth certificates only after gender reassignment surgery. Later, a doctor's note was required.
Ethan Rice, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal, a civil rights group that advocates for LGBTQ individuals, told WTOP-TV that allowing the change without a physician's note means more than eliminating a step in the process.
He said that self-attestation shows "that the government is recognizing that transgender people, as citizens, are the ones who know what their identity is and are able to tell the government that really, rather than the other way around."
Rice co-chaired the advisory board that worked with city officials to create the law.
New York City joins the states of New Jersey, California, Oregon, and Washington, which also have a third nonbinary category on birth certificates. Maine, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., have added an "X" option on drivers' licenses.