Non-Binary Birth Certificates? Massachusetts Senate Unanimously Passes Bill To Make Them Happen, Including Republicans

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The Massachusetts Senate has once again passed a bill (S.2533) that would allow people to put X as their gender on their birth certificate.

The proposal would allow adults to change their birth certificates so they no longer mention the person’s biological sex. The X signifies that someone identifies as non-binary — meaning something other than male or female. The bill would also allow minors to change their gender on their birth certificate if they provide an affidavit from a parent or guardian.

”This bill is about advancing basic human dignity, supporting human rights, and protecting everyone’s right to their own self-identity,” state Senator Joanne Comerford (D-Northampton) told WWLP. ”People know what gender they are. This bill simply allows their official documents to match how they self-identify. It allows for the Commonwealth to mandate gender identification and IDs as diverse as our people.”

Birth certificates in Massachusetts typically state the biological sex of the baby. The current options are male and female.

The bill to change that status passed 39-0 on Thursday afternoon, September 23. All Democrats who voted on the bill voted Yes. The three Republicans in the Massachusetts Senate also voted in favor of it:  Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton), Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), and Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth).

People won’t have to provide evidence that they identify as something other than a man or a woman to make these changes, if the bill passes.

The bill also would provides Massachusetts residents the ability to change the gender listed on their driver’s licenses to X. That provision wouldn’t change current policy, since the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles started giving out X gender driver’s licenses in 2019, even though there is no current statute that calls for it.

Additionally, the bill says that any state form that asks someone for their gender must include an option other than male and female.

This marks the second straight legislative session the Massachusetts Senate has passed this bill. It has never yet come up for a vote in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives nearly passed a bill allowing people to put X as their gender on driver’s licenses in 2018, but then-state Representative Jim Lyons (R-Andover), now the Massachusetts Republican Party chairman, stopped it from happening. Lyons filed dozens of amendments to the bill seeking recognition for the 73 genders that Facebook lets users choose from. House leaders withdrew the bill from consideration since House rules said that they would have had to have dedicated time to debate each one of those amendments and then hold a vote on each one of them.


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