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Old 07-28-2020, 04:21 PM
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Default Nonbinary New Yorker sues to have ‘X’ gender option on driver’s licenses


Nonbinary New Yorker sues to have ‘X’ gender option on driver’s licenses
By Bernadette Hogan and Ben Feuerherd
July 28, 2020 | 5:09pm

A New Yorker who identifies as neither male nor female is suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the head of the state Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday because Empire State-issued driver’s licenses do not have an “X” gender option.

In the Manhattan federal court suit, Sander Saba says the “male” and “female” options on licenses violate nonbinary New Yorkers’ constitutional rights and provisions in the New York Human Rights Law that prohibit “unlawful discriminatory practices in places of public accommodation.”

“It’s demeaning to be forced to carry identity documentation that is inconsistent with my identity. The State of New York should respect who I am, recognize me as non-binary, and issue me an accurate driver’s license,” Saba, a law-school graduate who is preparing to take the bar exam, said in a statement.

In the suit, Saba adds that other states — including Pennsylvania, where Saba previously lived as a student — have an “X” option on their driver’s licenses. New York State has also allowed nonbinary residents to file for birth certificates that have gender-neutral markers, the law firm that is representing Saba, Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

“By prohibiting nonbinary people from having accurate driver’s licenses, one of the most commonly used and accessible forms of identity documents, New York is limiting their opportunities to fully participate in society and causing ongoing harm to their well-being,” Carl Charles, staff attorney at Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the state was considering what changes it might make.

“We haven’t seen the Complaint filed in this lawsuit, but New York recently changed its policies and forms to ensure that the birth certificates of transgender and non-binary individuals accurately reflect their gender identities, and we are reviewing other government documents as well,” he said.
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