Saba v. Cuomo

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Status: Open
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Issues: Transgender Rights

Lambda Legal represents Sander Saba, a nonbinary transgender New York resident who is seeking an accurate New York driver’s license that reflects their nonbinary gender identity. The lawsuit challenges New York State’s discriminatory policy that categorically prohibits nonbinary people from obtaining an accurate driver’s license that reflects their gender identity, instead forcing them to choose either “male” or “female.” Saba, a 25-year-old New York University Law School graduate, is seeking an accurate driver’s license with an “X” marker.

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Saba already has two identity documents with accurate “X” markers – their New York City birth certificate and an earlier driver’s license issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They need an accurate New York driver’s license to ensure they are abiding by New York State law requiring its residents to exchange out-of-state license for a New York one and have fully congruent documentation.

There has been some progress already within the state to make policies more inclusive for nonbinary and transgender people. New York City already changed its law in 2019 to allow nonbinary people to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates. Furthermore, New York State also already allows transgender adults to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates, and just this year as a result of an earlier Lambda Legal lawsuit, implemented new policy to allow those changes for transgender minors. Last month, in response to another lawsuit, New York State’s Department of Health began to allow nonbinary people to obtain birth certificates with a gender neutral marker.