By Bob Katzen
On April 25, 2019, the Senate 39-1, approved and sent to the House a bill that would allow for 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. No documentation would be required for the person to choose the “X” option.
“People know what gender they are,” the bill’s sponsor Sen. Jo Comerford, (D-Northampton) told Beacon Hill Roll Call. “This bill simply allows their official documents to match how they self-identify. It directs the commonwealth to allow gender identification and IDs as diverse as our people. Our current binary options are overly restrictive and have created a situation where the government is infringing on people’s right to self-identify.”
“I have been working closely with House colleagues looking to advance the bill for vote in the House,” continued Comerford. “The Legislature has a crowded agenda between now and end of the session, and the need to act on police reform, health care, economic development and other issues is urgent. But I remain hopeful that this bill can make it. I would urge supporters of the bill to contact their representative and urge them to make this one of their priorities.”
“This bill is anti-science,” Massachusetts Family Institute President Andrew Beckwith told Beacon Hill Roll Call. “Our Massachusetts driver’s license correctly lists ‘sex,’ an objective reflection of one’s actual genetic makeup, XX or XY. There is no sex that is ‘X.’ Changing sex to ‘gender identity,’ which consists of an ‘internal sense of self’ or ‘feelings’ is not a reliable or objectively verifiable characteristic and so renders an official government identification document confusing or, if needed by law enforcement or emergency medical attention, dangerous. The driver’s license should list facts, not feelings.”
Former Sen. Donald Humason who is now the mayor of Westfield was the lone vote against the bill. He did not respond to repeated attempts by Beacon Hill Roll Call to comment on his vote.