NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signs bill adding gender ‘X’ option on birth certificates

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill Tuesday that allows a third gender option on birth certificates. Today, we're making history again in the fight for dignity and respect," de Blasio tweeted. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

a. - Under the new law, New Yorkers would also no longer be required to provide documentation from a doctor or health care provider to order to change their birth certificate.

“You don’t need a doctor to tell you who you are, and you shouldn’t need a doctor to change your birth certificate to reflect your true self,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said after the bill was passed, according to the New York Daily News. “Some people don’t want to check off male or female, and this is going to give them that third option.”

The law is expected to make it easier for people to obtain various forms of identification that reflect their gender identity. Previously, the gender on a person’s driver license or other official ID was determined by the gender listed on their birth certificate, which in some cases, didn’t match the person’s chosen identity.

“Today is a landmark day for our city,” Johnson said after the bill was signed, WLNY reported. “New York is sending a clear message to people who are transgender, gender non-conforming and nonbinary that we are here for you. This law will help those friends, neighbors, and colleagues better self-identify on their birth certificates, a document that’s so important in everyday life.”

Johnson introduced the measure in June. It was passed by the New York City Council last month.

Does the law apply to children?
The law will permit children 18 and younger to change the gender identity on their birth certificates with parental consent.

Parents already have the option to choose undetermined on their children’s birth certificates, according to the Daily News. The undetermined option shows up as a series of asterisks on the document.

When does the law go into effect?
The law will go into effect on Jan. 1.

Before 2014, New Yorkers who wanted to change their gender identity on birth certificates were required to have had gender reassignment surgery.

What else?
The states of New Jersey, Oregon, California, and Washington also have nonbinary gender options for individuals who don’t identify as a man or woman, according to the Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project, which tracks such legislative changes.

Maine, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., also allow persons to choose nonbinary options on their driver’s license. Californians will have that option beginning in January.


- City Hall in the X-treme

The City Hall press release was overflowing with superlatives. The action was “historic,” a “landmark” and “groundbreaking.”

Did Mayor Putz find a cure for homelessness? Did he solve the problem of failing schools? Did he fix public housing or the subways?

Nah, the small stuff is beneath him. His “stop the presses” accomplishment was signing legislation putting a third gender on city birth certificates.

As his office described it, “In addition to the ‘male’ and ‘female’ designations, birth certificates will also show an ‘X,’ allowing gender non-binary people who identify neither as men nor women to have a birth certificate that more accurately reflects their identities.”

The law takes effect Jan. 1 and removes the requirement that a medical or mental health professional affirm an individual’s gender to change the certificate.

The effect is that anyone can simply demand a new birth certificate and choose a new gender. It’s not clear if there are age requirements or limits to the number of times an individual can make changes.

To the roster of activist groups hailing the action, the change is something of a Holy Grail. First lady Chirlane McCray suggested it was just a first step, saying, “We will not stop there — we strive to extend that dignity to every aspect of life.”

I don’t doubt that gender identity is a serious, complex issue for some people. But I do wonder about the impact of this dramatic change on society, including gender roles in everything from sports to toilets, and about the priorities of the mayor and City Council.

Do they have the same passion for public safety and good schools? Do they care as much about the unfairness of the tax system?

My fear is that they don’t, and that their intensity about narrow issues is a fig leaf hiding their surrender on broad ones. There are superlatives for that, too.

Disgraceful, cowardice and shameful come to mind.

Oct 1, 2018 1:43 pm

A school in England teaches 6-year-old children about gay marriage in a unique way. (Image source: Facebook video screenshot)


  • The BBC’s Radio Manchester shared a video on the organization’s Facebook page in September that’s making the rounds and going viral.

What’s the video all about?

The video features 6-year-olds writing letters from one male story character to another male story character, imploring him to marry the other.

Featuring pupils from Bewsey Lodge Primary School — which is in Warrington, in England’s Cheshire region — the video shows children pen a note from “Prince Henry” to his servant “Thomas.”

The students’ teacher, Sarah Hopson, told the BBC what was happening in the video — which, at the time of this writing, has been viewed more than 180,000 times.

“This class of 6-year-olds is learning about gay marriage. In this fairy tale, the prince wants to marry his [male] servant. And the children are writing a love letter,” Hopson said.

She noted that she believes it’s important for children to learn about gay marriage at such a young age because those same children would “go out into that world and find this diversity around them, and they’ll find that out at a young age as well.”

“[T]he more [children] can be accepting at this age, you’re not going to face it further on, because the children will be accepting now and will be accepting this diversity around them,” she added.

According to Bewsey Lodge Primary School’s website, the school teaches “PSHE,” which stands for “Personal, Social, and Health Education.” Under the PSHE umbrella, topics like transgenderism, sexuality, and relationships are discussed. PSHE is taught from nursery age to year 6. Additionally, the school has “non-gender-specific” uniforms.

Anything else?  In June, the school received an award and became the first school in the region to win a LGBT+ award. According to the Warrington Guardian, the school received the “Educate and Celebrate” Best Practice Gold Award. The award was for tackling “homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying in schools,” according to the outlet. 

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