New York Will Allow Transgender Minors To Change Sex On Birth Certificate

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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New York State officials announced Tuesday that the state is changing its policy prohibiting transgender minors from changing their sex on their birth certificate, according to Dallas Voice.

Following a federal lawsuit that Lambda Legal, an LGBT legal defense nonprofit, filed against the state last month on behalf of a transgender boy, officials in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ offices announced the policy change allowing minors age 16 or younger to make a request for a sex change on their birth certificates through their parents or legal guardians, Dallas Voice reported.

Prior to the policy change, the State had been permitting people who were 18 and over to change their sex designation on birth certificates without surgery, but minors were prohibited from doing so. (RELATED: The Number Of Sex-Change Surgeries Is Going Up, And One Doctor Is Calling It A ‘Health Emergency’)

The plaintiff in the case, M.H.W., is a transgender boy and has undertaken “clinically-appropriate gender affirming care” to transition, Dallas Voice reported. M.H.W. Was born in Ithaca, New York but currently lives in Houston, and while changing the sex on his U.S. passport and social security records, the child’s parents were informed that New York did not permit birth certificate corrections for minors.

Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit on the child’s behalf in January in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, according to Dallas Voice. The group is also suing Ohio and Tennessee, which prohibit transgender people from changing their sex on birth certificates.

“It shouldn’t take a minor and his family suing the state to get their rights recognized, but with this announcement, New York state eliminates an outdated and unjust barrier to transgender minors’ ability to be themselves and have accurate, essential identity documents,” Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, senior attorney at Lambda Legal, said in a written statement according to Dallas Voice.