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De Blasio, Johnson back bill to create third gender option on birth certificates

People born in New York City would be allowed to select a third gender category on their birth certificate under a new proposal backed by Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

During a City Hall press conference on Monday, Johnson said he would be introducing legislation this week to ensure a new “non-binary” identity category known as “X” that would be available on birth certificates for those who don’t consider their gender to be male or female.

“This groundbreaking legislation will make New York City birth certificates more inclusive for all and will send a powerful signal to the world that New York City government works for everyone,” Johnson said.

Under the plan, transgender New Yorkers will no longer need a letter from a physician or an affidavit by a licensed health care provider to change their gender on the government form. Instead, those born in the Big Apple will be able to submit their own affidavit requesting a gender-identity change.

The city’s Board of Health will be considering the same changes at a meeting on Tuesday, with a hearing set for July and a vote in September.

Johnson said his bill would match the language of the Board of Health proposal, both of which he expects to be approved.

Newborns whose parents don’t want to enter a gender would continue under the current system of being documented with four asterisks as a placeholder until their kids are old enough to choose for themselves.

If the proposal passes, the city would join California, Washington and Oregon in having a third category on birth certificates, while Washington DC allows it on drivers’ licenses.

In December 2014, the Council approved legislation introduced by Johnson allowing transgender residents to change their gender to male or female on their birth certificates without having to get sex change surgery.

Saying the 2014 legislation remains “one of the things I’m most proud of,” Johnson provided an update.

He said that from January 2015 through March 2017, 731 New Yorkers got their birth certificates “changed and corrected them in a way that matched how they feel about themselves.”

The applicants ranged from 5 to 76-years-old, and 41 were under 18 and received parental consent. (New York Post)

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