New York’s court system is expanding the gender options on jury documents to include people who identify as transgender, nonbinary, intersex, and other.
A state court spokesperson, Lucian Chalfen, told CBS that the judicial system is aiming to have the updated juror information cards, ready for distribution by January. The cards tell people that they need to attend jury.
At the moment, the cards only have a male and female option on them.
Besides the juror information cards, NY will also be changing the juror questionnaire, used during the selection process. As of now, it only lists male and female as the option, but the updated questionnaire will include a question about how folks want to be addressed.
State Sen.Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat, stated that, “People don’t easily fit into boxes that can be checked.” Hoylman added that “This is a step in recognizing the reality of nonbinary identification.”
Last month, Hoylman sent a letter to the court system pushing for the expansion of gender options. Hoylman hopes that this addition can help get a more reflective jury pool and help deter discrimination in jury decisions.
Besides the NY Courts making moves to support LGBTQ+, Governor Cuomo signed new legislation called the Restoration of Honor Act, which gives LGBTQ+ veterans who were denied honorable discharges because of their gender identity and sexual orientation the right to apply to have their NY Veteran’s benefit restored.