WCNY Radio: Capitol Pressroom: State settles lawsuit over gender options on driver’s license

July 13, 2021

O’Melveny partner Hannah Chanoine and her client Sander Saba joined an episode of WCNY Radio’s Capitol Pressroom podcast to discuss the settlement of their case against the state of New York in the wake of new legislation signed by Governor Cuomo.

Saba filed suit after they were prevented from renewing their driver license, which is required by law, because applicants could not accurately identify as nonbinary. NY’s new Gender Recognition Act will allow nonbinary people to sign an X instead of selecting the more limited male/female gender options on New York driver’s license application forms.

Chanoine shared on the podcast that she maintained her “faith that the state of New York, that Cuomo, that the people working behind the scenes diligently would get to the right place, and they did.”

“I just wanted to underscore why Sander Saba’s experience goes to show why gender neutral licenses and markers are so important. It’s all about everyday dignity,” Chanoine said. “Every day things that those of us who are binary New Yorkers take for granted; the ability to get a glass of wine at a restaurant, the ability to go to the airport easily and show your id at the security line, the ability to drive. These are simple ordinary things that become so much harder in the absence of an accurate identification.” 

Listen to the full podcast here.