New York state is set to start introducing X gender markers on driver's licenses late next year. This news comes from papers filed by officials in a current lawsuit filed against the state.
Sander Saba, a 25-year-old nonbinary New York City resident, filed a lawsuit with Lambda Legal this summer against the state, saying that the policy of limiting gender markers on licenses to just “male” and “female” is discriminatory.
“It’s demeaning to be forced to carry identity documentation that is inconsistent with my identity,” Saba said when they brought the lawsuit, “The state of New York should respect who I am, recognise me as non-binary, and issue me an accurate driver’s license.”
The state has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit and consider it moot, as they say that late last year they began plans to “permit New Yorkers to receive a driver’s license that bears an ‘X’ gender identification marker through an automated application process.”
Lambda Legal is happy about the development, but said they will not be dropping their lawsuit. “Every day that a person is denied accurate identity documents is a day in which their rights are unconstitutionally deprived, and in which they suffer harm,” Lambda attorney Carl Charles said in a statement. “We will continue to prosecute our case on behalf osf Mx. Saba so that all nonbinary New Yorkers can have accurate state identificiation that they need wihtout undue delay.”
A spokesperson for the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, Lisa Koumjian, said in an email that “the DMV understands the importance of this issue for so many New Yorkers but cannot comment further as this relates to pending litigation.”
New York state already introduced “X” as a gender marker on birth certificates in 2019. Across the country, more than a dozen states already offer X gender markers and more than 7,000 U.S. residents currently have it as their gender marker on their license or identification.