BOSTON (WWLP) – The option of “X” gender on all Massachusetts identification forms passed the Senate Thursday, legislation filed by Senator Jo Comerford (D – Northampton).
The bill (S 2282 – An Act relative to gender identity on Massachusetts identification), voted 39 to 0, will provide a non-binary “X” option other than male or female on birth certificates and driver’s licenses. The RMV began offering the neutral gender designation in 2019, the same year the Senate passed a similar bill on a 39-1 vote.
The bill also directs the state to begin the process of allowing a non-binary option for all state forms and instances where a gender choice is required. Under the bill, the gender on birth records could be changed by an adult, an emancipated minor, or the parent or guardian of a minor. No documentation beyond a self-attestation is required to make a change.
”This bill is about advancing basic human dignity, supporting human rights, and protecting everyone’s right to their own self-identity,” said Comerford. ”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.”
Similar legislation passed the Senate during the previous legislative session, but did not pass the House of Representatives and was not signed into law. Comerford worked closely with Senate President Karen Spilka to advance this bill through the Senate. Senate President Spilka previously filed this legislation, after this issue was brought to her attention by a constituent.
“I am thrilled by my colleagues’ support for these important bills in today’s session,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “I am particularly grateful for today’s bi-partisan vote on the ‘Gender X bill,’ which was initiated by a young constituent of mine and is very special to me. The simple, inclusionary change of providing a gender-neutral designation for state licensees and birth certificates is long overdue. It’s time for our government to recognize people for who they are.”