Gender-neutral birth certificates now available in New York City

A new law taking effect Tuesday made gender-neutral birth certificates available in New York City.

The law, signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) in October, allows for a third gender category for selection on city-issued birth certificates, according to The Associated Press.

The nonbinary category, known as “X,” can be selected by those who choose to identify as nonbinary or by parents who choose the category for newborns.

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“This new legislation will empower all New Yorkers, especially our transgender and gender nonbinary residents, to have birth certificates that better reflect their identity, and it furthers the City’s commitment to defending the rights of our LGBTQ community,” de Blasio said when signing the legislation in October.

New York City now joins California, Oregon and Washington in allowing an alternative gender option on birth certificates. New Jersey will follow suit with a similar law that goes into effect in February.

Previously, residents of New York City had to prove they underwent gender reassignment surgery to change their birth certificates. That policy was eliminated in 2014 and replaced with a requirement for documentation from a medical or mental health professional. The new law removes that requirement, the AP reports.