In a trailblazing move, the city of Boston has updated its marriage licenses: going forward, they will no longer require gender identification.
This means that couples applying to get married in the city won’t have to disclose information about their gender to employees of the city.
For trans, non-binary and gender diverse people, the change could help alleviate gender dysphoria.
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Kimberly Rhoten, who is non-binary and serves as Boston’s director of policy and strategic initiatives for the city’s Office of Returning Citizens, explained at a press conference that they had “eagerly awaited” this change.
“Unfortunately for people like me, the certificate’s outdated and narrow gender markers were a glaring reminder that our city still had a long way to go in acknowledging our existence,” they explained.
Any Boston residents who are already married and would like to obtain a marriage license which doesn’t list sex or gender identification can contact the City Registry for a new copy.
“Our fundamental charge in public service is ensuring that our services and opportunities reach everyone, and that starts with affirming and supporting constituents of all identities,” Mayor Michelle Wu explained in a statement.
“Boston must continue to work to dismantle the historic inequities and injustices that persist. This update to Boston marriage licenses is a huge step in building a City that is truly inclusive, and I’m excited to see how these critical changes for accessibility at City Hall serve Bostonians.”
Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity and Inclusion for the city, also explained how the change helps to reflect Boston’s ambitions of pushing towards full marriage equality.
“Massachusetts was the first state to legally recognize [sic] marriage equality, but we know that the work of creating a more just world is ongoing. I am proud to be part of the City of Boston’s trajectory as a continued leader in equity, inclusion, and justice.”
The change was made as part of a series of new gender-aware guidelines and standards for city of Boston services, which have the proposed aim of providing “more dignified experiences for residents, including those whose gender and sexual identities have historically not been recognized or supported by government agencies”.