New Yorkers summoned for jury duty will soon no longer have to describe themselves as just “male” or “female.”
The state court system plans to add four new categories — transgender, nonbinary, intersex and other — to the anonymous demographic survey that’s distributed to all potential jurors who report for service, a spokesman said Tuesday.
In addition, the questionnaire that gets filled out by people picked for jury selection will be changed to replace two gender check boxes with a question that instead asks, “How do you prefer to be addressed?”
Options will include the titles “Ms.”, “Mr.” and “Juror,” followed by the person’s last name.
People will also be given the choice to pick “Other” and spell out their preference.
The revisions have been under consideration for several months and were recently approved by the Administrative Board of the Courts, a six-judge panel that sets policy for the state’s justice system, Office of Court Administration spokesman Lucian Chalfen said.
“The world changes. Times change. And we’re changing along with it,” Chalfen said.
“People like to be addressed in different ways, and we’re doing what we think is appropriate.”
State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), who last month sent a letter calling for the changes, told The Associated Press that the move was “a step in recognizing the reality of nonbinary identification.”
“People don’t easily fit into boxes that can be checked,” said Hoylman, who in April tweeted that he was “the only openly gay elected official in the New York State Senate.”
The new questionnaires should be ready for distribution by early January, Chalfen said.
They are being printed in-house, and officials don’t anticipate having to throw out many of the old forms, he said.
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