New York to Introduce ‘X’ Gender Marker on Public Assistance Forms

Author: Christopher Wiggins

In a recent court settlement, New Yorkers have been granted the option to select an “X” gender marker when applying for public assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid, the Associated Press reports.

This settlement brings closure to a 2021 lawsuit against multiple government agencies. The lawsuit argued that the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s computer system unfairly necessitated nonbinary individuals to inaccurately identify as either male or female under oath or face denial of benefits.

According to the settlement terms, state public assistance and health agencies will introduce the “X” gender markers on relevant forms by January 1. Additionally, the New York City Human Resources Administration has been given the green light to offer this gender marker on documents ahead of the January 1 deadline, as stated by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which led the lawsuit representing several plaintiffs.

The Associated Press also points out that the provision for a nonbinary gender marker is already in place on New York driver’s licenses and birth certificates. When the lawsuit was initially filed, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance had mentioned that a significant software upgrade, estimated to be in the millions, would be required to accommodate this gender marker addition.

Reflecting on the settlement, Gabriella Larios, an attorney with the NYCLU, underscored its significance.

“This is a major victory for the thousands of nonbinary New Yorkers who will be able to seek public benefits without being forced to lie about their identity or risk being misgendered,” Larios told the news wire.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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