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New York state changes policy, allows minors to change sex on birth certificates

New York state changes policy, allows minors to change sex on birth certificates

New York City | Unsplash/Thomas Habr

The state of New York is now permitting minors who self-identify as something other than their biological sex to alter their birth certificates.

Officials in the Empire state announced this week that young people ages 16 and under who assert that they are transgender or nonbinary will be able to alter their sex marker on their birth certificate to reflect their "gender identity." Medical affidavits are not required to make the change.

Proponents of the new policy hailed the move.

“The actions announced today rid the state of a discriminatory and outdated policy and keeps New York rightly among the states leading the country with policies that respect the lives of transgender people,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, senior attorney for Lambda Legal, calling the announcement a "victory."

"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and his family suing the state to get their rights recognized, but with this announcement, New York state eliminates an outdated and unjust barrier to transgender minors’ ability to be themselves and have accurate, essential identity documents.”

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James said the policy change would take effect immediately.

The change in policy came about as a result of a lawsuit from a resident in Houston, Texas, who was born in New York. The plaintiff in the case is biologically female, goes by M.H.W., and identifies as a boy.

New York has allowed adults to alter their birth records since 2014. According to Dallas Voice, it now joins a handful of other states and cities that permit minors to do it: New York City, Oregon, Washington state, Massachusetts, Alaska and Washington, D.C.

Critics say that birth certificates serve a necessary public function containing vital information necessary for recordkeeping and for measuring statistics where biological sex is relevant and ought not be experimented on with self-declared identity categories.

In an interview with The Christian Post last January about New York City's allowance of a third gender marker on birth certificates, philosopher Daniel Moody, author of The Flesh Made Word, stressed that the purpose of a birth certificate is to capture truth in language, thereby connecting persons to laws — not only for the sake of the individual but for society as a whole. Permitting a gender-neutral "X" in place of "M" for male or "F" for female renders biological sex obsolete, he said.

"No legal regime can contain within itself two versions of human identity. Law cannot tolerate a situation in which some people are fundamentally a sex (body) while other people are essentially a gender (mind). The two challengers for the crown of most essential identity will eventually come into conflict with one another, at which point something has to give," he explained at the time, calling this the crux of the matter.

He continued: "In law, bedrock identity can only be sex for everybody or sex for nobody. And given that X provides a vehicle by which to avoid having one's sex registered in law, the situation is now sex for nobody."

"As is the case with its bogus scientific claims, gender wears the words male and female as an effective and efficient disguise."

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