By Bob Katzen
A bill that would allow residents to choose a third gender option, “x” in lieu of “male” or “female” on an application for a driver’s license, learner’s permit, identification card or liquor purchase identification card has been stuck in the House Ways and Means Committee since April 4. No documentation would be required for the person to choose the “X” option. The measure was approved by the Transportation Committee in April which then sent it to Ways and Means.
“This issue was brought to my attention by a constituent who identifies as gender-nonbinary,” the bill’s sponsor Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick) told Beacon Hill Roll Call when the bill had a hearing in March 2019. “They were struggling with what they would do when it came time to choose a gender for their driver’s license. Applying for a driver’s license should be an exciting day for all teenagers, not overcome by stress for young people who identify as gender non-binary. This legislation is about ensuring that every person in the commonwealth of Massachusetts feels welcomed and accepted.”
“Identifying documents serve a variety of crucial purposes that help society function on a basic level,” Christopher Jay, an attorney for the Massachusetts Family Institute which opposes the measure told Beacon Hill Roll Call at the time of hearing.“ Introducing false and incomplete information into the system undermines their purpose and harms society. There is no logical boundary here. If someone can specify their gender regardless of biological fact, why not specify a different race, age, height, weight or eye color according to how the person feels?”