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Cuomo Signs Law Providing More Gender Options On State Documents

Image by SatyaPrem from Pixabay

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into a law the gender recognition act, approved by the state Legislature earlier this month. It’s aimed at reducing discrimination against transgender and non-binary New Yorkers.

Under the law, a New Yorker who wants to change their gender listed on an official identification document, or in a court proceeding, no longer needs a doctor’s permission or have to present medical evidence to obtain those changes.

Parents named on a child’s birth certificate no longer have to choose between father or mother, they will also have the option of identifying as a “parent,” and New Yorkers will also be given the option of choosing a gender neutral “X” on documents, instead of being limited to choosing between male or female, a practice already allowed in New York City.

Cuomo, who signed the measure at a ceremony with LGBTQ+ community leaders, said it will eliminate barriers that undermine the health and safety of people because of their gender.

“It affirms basic human dignity and it ends discrimination,” Cuomo said.

The governor signed the bill just weeks after his daughter, Michaela Kennedy Cuomo shared in a social media post that she identifies as queer. The governor did not mention his daughter in his speech, but at the time said that he was proud of his daughter, and loves and supports her.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.