Mass. Senate Passes Bill Allowing Alternative Gender Designation

spilka comerford gender x vote senate massachusetts

Senate President Karen Spilka and Sen. Joanne Comerford spoke to reporters after the Gender X bill passed Thursday. (Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Senators overwhelmingly passed a measure which would allow drivers in the state to mark their gender as 'X' rather than male or female.

Senators broke out in appleause in the chamber after the bill passed.

The state's House of Representatives will now take up the Gender X bill, which would also allow residents over 18 to go back and change their gender on hteir birth certificates.

State Sen. Joanne Comerford, one of the bill's sponsors, spoke to WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe Thursday.

"People know what gender they are," she said. "This bill allows us to have their state documents match how they self-identify."

Senate President Karen Spilka said this is a great day for civil and transgender rights.

"It is a strong statement of policy that the Commonwealth accepts its residents for who they are," Spilka said.

Katherin O'Connor, a 15-year-old Brookline High School student, identifies as non-binary.

"I'll be applying for a driver's license soon," O'Connor said. "As a document I will interact with often, I'd like it to be consistent with who I am and how I view myself."

Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Mass Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, said the bill represents the rights of transgender individuals.

"Government documents should not be formed based on peoples' prejudices or their biases," she said. "They should be based on reality, the way people live their lives."

WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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