BOSTON —The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday passed legislation allowing for a non-binary option for gender on drivers’ licenses and birth certificates. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“I am thrilled by my colleagues’ support for these important bills in today’s session,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland).
“I am particularly grateful for today’s bi-partisan vote on the ‘Gender X bill,’ which was initiated by a young constituent of mine and is very special to me. The simple, inclusionary change of providing a gender neutral designation for state licensees and birth certificates is long overdue. It’s time for our government to recognize people for who they are,” said Sen. Spilka.
An Act Relative to Gender Identity on Massachusetts Identification requires the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to allow an applicant to designate an ‘X,’ rather than ‘M’ or ‘F’ on a driver’s license or other forms of state ID, while prohibiting the requirement of documentation for such designations.
The bill would also allow a person over the age of 18 or the parents of a minor to request a change in the sex on a birth certificate to include “female,” “male” or “X” to reflect the gender identity of the person.
In addition, the bill would also authorize a study to identify other state documents or forms that can be updated to reflect a non-binary gender option.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the Senate President for giving me the opportunity to join her on this gender identity legislation,” stated Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton), the lead Senate sponsor of the ‘Gender X’ legislation. “People know what gender they are. This bill simply affirms the ability of individuals to identify by their preferred gender on state documents and forms. With this legislation, the
Senate has recognized the civil rights issue that is at the heart of the call for visibility for all, ensuring the dignity that manifests when all people have the opportunity to self-identify.”
“Massachusetts has always led on equity and justice, especially in our proud bi-partisan support of LGBTQ people. Today the Massachusetts Senate continued that tradition by passing legislation that provides the opportunity for Massachusetts residents who are transgender or gender non-conforming to self-identify on all Massachusetts identification documents,” said Assistant Majority Whip Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “The legislation passed by the Senate allows for accuracy, privacy, and safety for individuals who do not fit neatly into a specific gender identity. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support of gender non-conforming people; our vote today recognizes the dignity of all, no matter their gender identity or expression.”