A transgender couple refused a marriage license by New York's City Clerk in 2009 will finally be allowed to marry, and the agency promised new training to ensure other transgendered applicants are not turned away.
The transgender woman, who had been born as a male, and her opposite sex partner, who was born female, were denied a license to marry at the Bronx office of the City Clerk in December 2009.
When the pair supplied identification, a worker in the clerk's office asked for birth certificates in addition to the ID.
New Yorkers seeking marriage licenses are not required to show birth certificates if they produce government-issued photo ID.
After the couple threatened legal action and sought help from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Clerk Michael McSweeney told employees this week that all marriage license applicants must be treated with dignity, and that transgendered applicants only need to produce the same ID as anyone else.
Quinn said Tuesday that the decision "ensures that all New Yorkers will be treated equally, and with the dignity and respect they deserve from a government agency."
“Transgender people are challenged all the time about their status as men and women,” said Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. “We applaud the City Clerk’s office for adopting this policy and for taking steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”
The couple's names were not released by the city or the transgender legal group.