Thursday marks the 10- year anniversary of the signing of the Marriage Equality Act into law in New York state.

The act -- signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 24, 2011 --  granted same-sex couples the ability to enter into civil marriages in New York.

Ten years later, Cuomo was in New York City today to sign the Gender Recognition Act, which removes long-standing barriers to equality under the law and ensures expanded protections for transgender and non-binary New Yorkers.

"Every New Yorker deserves to be free from discrimination and have state-issued identification and processes that respect them for who they are, recognize their gender identity and protect their safety,"  Cuomo said. "New York continues to lead the way in ensuring LGBTQ people are treated equally in every part of the law and society, and this bill is another landmark that ensures New Yorkers can express ourselves for who we are."

The legislation allows New Yorkers to us an “X” as a non-binary sex designation on driver’s license in New York.

It ensures that New Yorkers will be able to have their gender identity on official documents and provides protections to reduce discrimination against nonbinary and transgender New Yorkers by permitting name change and sex designation changes to be sealed more easily.

The legislation will also provide New Yorkers the ability to amend their birth certificates and use a designation of mother, father, or parent for the first time.

Prior to the Gender Recognition Act's signing, New York residents who wanted to change their names were required to publish their new and previous names, current address, place of birth and date of birth in a designated newspaper.

Cuomo says that potentially allowed opportunities for discrimination against transgender and nonbinary people who legally changed their names.

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