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Gender no longer required for Boston marriage licenses

Mayor Wu announced today that people applying for marriage licenses in Boston no longer have to identify their gender - and that already married people can apply for genderless updated licenses at the city Registry.

Data can be a powerful tool to understand disparities and to drive equitable outcomes. However, embedding the collection of data into government programs can often have negative consequences for the people those services and programs were intended to help in the first place. The consequences can be magnified when data collection is mandatory or tied to other personally identifying information. As these are complex issues that involve trade-offs, the City expects these standards and guidelines to evolve.

Collecting the right amount of data in the right way will ensure that the City delivers services equitably and effectively to people of all gender identities while protecting privacy and safety to the best of its ability.

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Comments

Are not going to embrace this gigantic leap forward.

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They won't leak your gender, only SSN, tax and passport info.

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I'm not aware of any reason they would need to have that on file.

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Find a bridge and get under it.

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Nobody is out there stirring up hate for people on the basis of their Social Security numbers or the fact that they have passports.

Also, the last I looked, my tax forms don't go to the city of Boston, they go to the IRS and to a state government office. You can't leak information you don't have.

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What the fuck are you making a reference to?

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Magoo identifies as Magoo. That is all. Magoo.

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I hope this spreads throughout MA.

When I got married back in the 1980s, I was very pleased to see that the form asked if I was changing my last name. I wasn't, and when I informed the clerk he looked at my husband-to-be and exclaimed "So why are you marrying her?"! Silly me, I'd thought that the reasons for getting married were deeper than wanting to force a name change on someone.

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Just your sex, is that not correct?

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My brother would put "not yet"

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Gender and sex have been used interchangeably on paperwork and government forms for decades.

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We have been told for decades sex and gender are not the same.
You don't change your sex you change your gender, we should add Sex/Gender on certain paperwork in my opinion
We have also been told there is more than two genders so for clarity it makes sense.

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It's my understanding that the DPH standardized the record keeping for vital records a while back- sometime before the pandemic. If the state gets rid of gender, so be it, but if they require it, the city will be in violation of the law.

I think there's a lot of data to be had in such things. It amazes me that after the Goodridge decision, the state stops publishing marriage data. Other states that had gay marriage early on, like Iowa, had some interesting reports on the how prevalent it was. Adding a non-binary option would be a better move.

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This won't be an issue.

DPH is committed to equity, and there is no need to know the gender of persons on a marriage certificate. All that matters are that the parties are adults who are able to consent to the contract.

Just like a bunch of nonsense education requirements for lower tier jobs have been removed from job openings, and more options are appearing as standard in surveys, and "managerial degrees" are vanishing in favor of experience because unnecessary requirements lead to inequity.

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What is the state's requirements for the form?

If it's not required, Boston can nix it. If it is still required, it's problematic.

Interesting that the public health person is laid back about vital record data. They don't really need to put the cause of death on those certificates, either, but it's been done since 1845. It was a bit of a problem in the 1980s and 1990s for reasons we both know, but no one suggested dropping the question to make people feel better.

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Given how many people and politicians and court cases are still trying to attack gay marriage, I think there is enormous value to being able to know that almost 7% of marriages in this state since 2004 were to same-sex couples. We are not some tiny fringe part of the population, and this is data we can use to prove it if/when we ever need to.

I am totally fine with Boston/DPH offering a non-binary option or allowing people not to check a box indicating their sex, if that’s what the people filling out the form prefer. But I think many same-sex couples find it very powerful to be able to include that info. It does matter to many of us to have official recognition that we’re in a same-sex marriage and are not just two consenting adults.

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Mayor presence no longer required in the city to make grand pronouncements.

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When did you object to Marty and Mikey running their traps on the daily, and marking their names all over every last publicly owned area in town?

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To be fair plenty of people have always mocked Mayors in the area for being shameless about where they put their names. Although Marty Walsh is an interesting person to point to on this because if you do even a basic google search on the subject you would find a bunch of stories about how the Mayor really needs to replace those Menino signs that were everywhere. Walsh did not seem to be in a hurry to rip them all down and instead took over a year in many cases to make the changes. One would assume he was taking the responsible road of phasing them in as it made sense instead of making a mad rush to make changes.

Kim Janey, who you conveniently forgot to include, on the other hand was simply an acting Mayor and yet seemed to get her name up on things as quickly as she could.

For what it is worth Mayor Wu has also been slow to replace signs, taking a cue from Marty Walsh.

Overall maybe it is time to stop plastering the Mayors name on everything anyway. I get why it made sense even in the 80's but today if you want to know who the Mayor is there are ways to find out. Especially since there are so many signs out there now. I imagine it may be confusing to drive down the street and see four different mayor names.

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I believe the original comment was a note that Wu has been out of town for the past couple of days on a secret vacation.

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You suck at trolling. Get a new hobby. You're just showing your obnoxious ass.

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If you think about it, gender really doesn't need to be on the form as it has no impact regarding ones eligibility to marry another. Just like the form doesn't ask for your height, weight, or shoe size.

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It also asks your parent's names and where you were born.

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Given that the reason for the state to have got into the marriage business in the first place was in part to legitimize property inheritance, recording the parents of the marrying couple supports that purpose.

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There might be any number of people named John Smith, but adding birthdate, parents' names, birthplace, and other info better helps to make the people involved identifiable.

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