On Tuesday, the State Department of Transportation reported that the gender designation “X” became part of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle’s technology system upgrade, launched by Governor Charlie Baker’s office. The department added that the option is also available for new credential issuance, renewals and amendments of licenses and IDs. This change comes following the agency’s failure to keep up with out of state license suspensions, leading to a comprehensive reform.
The move was met with backlash by some with Massachusetts GOP Chairman Jim Lyons saying “the fact they want to make this an issue front and center just adds to the reason people are so upset at government. The insanity continues.” Lyons is known for blocking the bill while he was in the legislature, hence delaying the non-binary designation on the licenses.
Despite some backlash, many see this change as a step forward for the LGBTQIA+ community. Massachusetts has now joined several other states including California, Maine and Idaho in legalizing gender neutral license recognitions. Senate President Karen E. Spilka said this move is, “an important step towards letting people be who they are. Not everyone in this world fits neatly into the traditional categories of what we have been thinking of as male or female.”
“It’s a public acknowledge of the reality of how people live their lives. Up until this change, non-binary folks essentially had to lie on their driver’s license and other documents as well. This is hugely meaningful because it allows people to tell the truth and to be respectful of that truth,” added the co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Arline Isaacson.
Source: CNN 11/13/19; CBS Boston 11/13/19 ; Boston Herald 11/13/19 ; Mass Live 11/13/19