Mar 14, 2011

New York City Issues Non-Discrimination Policy on Transgender Marriage Licenses

In December of 2009, an opposite-sex couple went to the City Clerk's office in the Bronx and asked for a marriage license. Because the clerk felt that neither would-be spouse looked like the sex listed on the drivers' licenses the two presented, they were asked for their birth certificates and when they could not produce them, were denied a marriage license. 

After the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a complaint last October, New York City responded by issuing a new policy to all city clerks. The new policy states that "City Clerk employees are forbidden from considering the applicant's appearance or preconceived notions related to gender expression when deciding whether to issue a marriage license." You've gotta figure TLDEF wrote that excellent language, right? Either way, though, it's now city policy. 

In addition, the agreement requires the city clerk to apologize to the couple, institute training for employees regarding gender identity and expression, and allow the couple to marry when and where they want.