Gender changes on NYC birth certificates rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials have changed the gender listed on 731 birth certificates since January 2015, with applicants ranging in age from 5 to 76 years old, officials said Thursday.

Slightly more than half of the changes were from male to female, and 41 of them were under 18 with parental consent, according to the data. The city eased requirements for gender identification change applications in 2014. Before that, there were about 20 per year.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said it's crucial for New York to affirm a commitment to equality, as other jurisdictions continue to adopt policies of discrimination against transgender people.

"We will continue to work with the community to recognize and affirm transgender lives, improve our services, reduce stigma and promote the health of all transgender New Yorkers," she said.

Last year, the health department also issued the first-ever birth certificate in the U.S. with "intersex" on the document, meaning the person didn't fit traditional gender definitions.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court backed out of a high-profile case of a Virginia high school student who sued to be able to use the boys bathroom, leaving the issue of transgender rights in schools to lower courts.

The decision came after President Donald Trump's administration lifted an Obama-era policy allowing students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity. That decision leaves it up to states and school districts to decide their own policies.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last month the state would continue to allow transgender students to use public school bathrooms that match their gender identity.