A new policy in New York City that removes potential roadblocks for transgender individuals who apply for marriage licenses was spurred by the work of three former students at Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic.

The new policy will ensure that transgender individuals who apply for marriage licenses will not be required to provide any additional proof of their sex beyond that which is required of any other person who seeks a license from the city’s Marriage Bureau.

In collaboration with lawyers at the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Donna Azoulay ‘10, Jeannie Chung ‘10, and Jantira Supawong ‘10, drafted a memorandum that said denying transgender people equal access to marriage licenses lacked a rational basis, was arbitrary and capricious, impermissibly burdened the fundamental right to marry, and violated the New York City Human Rights Law and the Equal Protection Clause of the state and federal constitutions.

“We applaud the City for taking this step,” said Professor Suzanne Goldberg, the clinic’s director. “City clerks can no longer consider gender stereotypes or preconceived notions about gender expression, such as an applicant’s physical appearance, dress, behavior, or name, when deciding whether to issue a marriage license.”

Under the new policy, the city shall issue a marriage license as long as the sex listed on the identity document matches the applicant’s sex as indicated on the marriage application.

The policy was adopted in response to advocacy by TLDEF on behalf of a transgender woman and a transgender man who were denied a marriage license despite the fact that they had fulfilled all the requirements for receiving a marriage license and had presented proper identification. The City Clerk had required the couple to produce birth certificates even though this was not required of other marriage-license applicants.


  1. Clinic Students Help Clear Path for Transgender People to Marry In New York City http://wp.me/ploC4-Ym

  2. RT @GenderSexLaw: Clinic Students Help Clear Path for Transgender People to Marry In New York City http://wp.me/ploC4-Ym #canqueer

  3. Clinic Students Help Clear Path for Transgender People to Marry In New York City http://wp.me/ploC4-Ym http://bit.ly/eZaDiV

  4. RT @TGworldNews: Clinic Students Help Clear Path for Transgender People to Marry In New York City http://wp.me/ploC4-Ym http://bit.ly/eZaDiV

  5. RT @TGworldNews: Clinic Students Help Clear Path for Transgender People to Marry In New York City http://t.co/SFebdio

  6. Clinic Students Help Clear Path For Transgender People To Marry In New York City…

    […]Ad a coment. Name. Mail (wil not be published). Website. Coments are subject to moderation and do not necesarily[…]…

  7. Getting a real-estate venture right off the ground is definitely a significant concern. So an important startup also known as GroundBreaker has formed a white-label crowdfunding solution that properties entrepreneurs would use to raise finances for their ..

  8. This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am really impressed to read everthing at single place.

    Here is my webpage; penomet gaiters

Add a comment

Comments are subject to moderation and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of
Columbia Law School or Columbia University.



"Homeland" Security Abortion Rights Activism Adoption adultery Advocacy Affordable Care Act Alien Tort Claims Act Amicus Brief Asylum Bankruptcy BDS Bullying Census Politics Children Citizenship Civil Unions Clinic Columbia Law School Compulsory Marriage Condoms Contraception Contraception Mandate Cordoba House Criminal Law Cures for Homosexuality Defense of Marriage Act Disability Rights Discrimination Divorce Domestic Partnership Domestic Violence Domestic Workers Don't Ask Don't Tell Earth Day Economic Justice Education Egypt Elections Employment Discrimination ENDA Estate Planning Events Family Law Fellowships femininity Feminism Free Speech Gender and Technology Gender Identity Discrimination Gendering the Economy Gender Justice GSL Online Haiti Hate Crimes Health Care Hilary Clinton Hillary Clinton Hiring HIV HIV Discrimination Hobby Lobby Homelessness Homophobia Housing Human Rights Identity Politics Illegitimacy (sic) Immigration Reform In-ing Incest India International Law Intersectional Feminism Islamophobia Israel Jobs Justice Sotomayor King & Spalding Labor Trafficking Land Reform Law School Legal Profession Legal Scholarship Lesbian & Gay Parenting LGBT Parenting Marital Status Discrimination Marriage Marriage Equality Masculinity Medicaid Michelle Obama Migration Military National Security Obama Administration Obama Appointments Obergefell Outing OWS Palestine Parenting Pinkwashing Policing Politics of the Veil Polyamory Popular Culture Pornograpy Pregnancy Presidential Politics Prisons Privacy Products Liability Profanity Prop 8 Prosecutorial Discretion Publications Public Rights/Private Conscience Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Queer Theory Queer vs. Gay Rights Race and Racism Racial Stereotyping Rape Religion Religious Accommodation Religious Exemption Religious Exemptions Religious Freedom Restoration Act Religious Fundamentalism Reproductive Rights Reproductive Technology RFRA Romania Rwanda Sartorial Commentary Schools Sex Discrimination Sex Education Sex Stereotyping Sexting Sex Trafficking Sexual Assault Sexual Duplicity Sexual Harassment Sexual Health Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Sexual Orientation Discrimination Sex Work Silencing of voices SMUG Sodomy Law Reform Solidarity Sports Supreme Court Surrogacy Technology Title IX Trafficking Transgender Uganda Uncategorized Violence Women and Poverty Women of Color Work Zimbabwe

Academic Calendar  |  Resources for Employers  |  Campus Map & Directory  |  Columbia University  |  Jobs at Columbia  |  Contact Us

© Copyright 2009, Columbia Law School. For questions or comments, please contact the webmaster.