The City of New York has adopted a new
marriage policy that affects transgender people.
The new policy bans clerks from asking
applicants to provide proof of gender beyond a government issued
“Gender stereotypes or preconceived
notions related to gender expression – including an applicant's
physical appearance, dress, behavior or name – may not be
considered when deciding whether to issue a marriage license,” a
memorandum, signed by City Clerk Michael McSweeney, states.
“It is contrary to this policy to
request any additional proof of sex when a valid government issued
identification document … has been submitted and the sex listed on
the such document matches the applicant's sex as indicated on the
rights advocates had threatened the city with legal action after
a couple, both of whom are transgender, were asked in 2009 to produce
birth certificates in order to receive a marriage license.
“Transgender people are challenged
all the time about their status as men and women,” Michael
Silverman, executive director of Transgender Legal Defense and
Education Fund (TLDEF), said in a statement. “Our clients are
legally entitled to marry and were denied that right because they are
transgender. We applaud the City Clerk's office for adopting this
policy and for taking steps to ensure that this does not happen