They will also allow retrospective changes to existing death certificates.
New York City has pledged to stop misgendering people on their death certificates, and will make sure that a person’s gender identity is “consistent with the wishes” of the deceased. The move will come into effect next year.
Death certificates in the city will now reflect a person’s gender identity “based on knowledge of the person” or from documentation, which will include an ‘X’ option for people who don’t identify as either male or female.
Retrospective death certificates can also now be issued, for free, to correct the gender identity of people who had died before the new law came into force.
Carlos Menchaca, a council member for New York City, said: “What might appear like a small change to some, is in fact everything to many.
“In death as in life, we want dignity and respect. This change reflects the City’s uncompromising recognition to that basic human right.”
Daniel Dromm, the New York City Council LGBT Caucus Chair, said: “These changes allow non-binary New Yorkers to die with dignity.
“As is the case with men and women, gender markers on the death certificates of gender non-conforming New Yorkers should reflect who they were in life. This effort makes that possible. I thank the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for moving this effort forward.”
And the First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, added: “All New Yorkers, regardless of their gender identity, deserve to have documents that reflect and affirm who they are.
“Today, we are sending a clear message to non-binary New Yorkers that we respect and honor their fundamental rights in every phase of life.”