OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
1:30 PM – Thursday, October 5, 2023
New Yorkers will soon have the ability to choose an “X” gender option when applying for food stamps, Medicaid and other public assistance, according to a court settlement.
On Wednesday, a court settlement was made as a result of a 2021 lawsuit regarding several government agencies stating that the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance computer system forces nonbinary people to either lie under oath by claiming themselves as male or female, or be denied particular benefits.
By January 1st, 2024, New York’s public assistance and health agencies will make “X” gender markers available on applicable forms, under the settlement.
Therefore, it will permit the NYC Human Resources Administration to grant “X” gender markers on application forms, according to the state’s Civil Liberties Union, which bought the lawsuit on behalf of multiple plaintiffs.
“This is a major victory for the thousands of nonbinary New Yorkers who will be able to seek public benefits without being forced to lie about their identity or risk being misgendered,” NYCLU attorney Gabriella Larios said in a statement.
This kind of nonbinary gender option has already become available on New York’s driver’s licenses and birth certificates.
In April 2022, it became available for United States citizens to select “X” on their passport application, however, this marks the first time it has become available for public assistance application.
The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance has been contacted for a request for comment. The organization announced that when the lawsuit was filed, a multimillion-dollar software upgrade would allow for the additional gender option.
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