Passports, social security cards, residence permits and other federal identity documents may soon offer a third gender option: x.
Already, at least a dozen states and Washington, DC have amended their laws. X gender designation On some identification documents including driver’s license and birth certificate.
But federal regulations have not changed much since 2010, when Americans were first able to apply to change the sex marker on their passports. That application always requires medical certification and is only available to those who have transitioned from one gender to another; The State Department, which issues passports, asks applicants to select either man or woman.
President Biden Promised to change it, And the American Civil Liberties Union is prompting him to take action soon.
The organization is talking with White House officials about adding a gender neutral option to all federal identity documents and records, and allows people to confirm their own gender without a court order or medical certificate.
“We want to ensure that gender markers have a consistent, well-organized and practical modernization,” said Arlie Christian, a campaign strategist at the ACLU, who is leading the push.
The White House has not yet announced any action. ()In a statement on the 19th, Matt Hill, a White House spokesman, said President Biden is committed to issuing nonbinary IDs and “advancing state and federal efforts that allow transgender and non-American Americans to reflect their gender identity in their Allow identity documents to be updated. “
a Petition The ACLU began last month, calling for executive action, with more than 34,000 signatures. The organization plans to share the petition with the International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31 at the White House.
It is difficult to measure how many people would choose a third gender designation over official documents. This category will provide an option for individuals who have transitioned, but do not identify with “men” or “women”, who are non-Pak and people who are Intersex, As well as others. some The people (And The countries And International agencies) Argue that there is no need for gender designation on documents.
Bureaucratic barriers to updating or changing the gender on important documents, such as driver’s licenses and passports, can be abusive to many individuals.
according to a Report good From the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, about 42 percent of transgender people who are eligible to vote in 45 US states – estimated to have more than 350,000 people – do not have identity documents that show their correct names, gender, or both. Reflect
A major challenge is medical authority, especially in the case of passports. “You have to go to a physician and get a formal letter at letterhead,” said Mx. The ACLU has become a problem for Christians “who do not have insurance, live in rural areas and are not excluded from their providers, or have some type of medical treatment for various reasons. It is up to you to get the updated ID. There is a big barrier. “
In 2014, a military veteran, Dana Zazim, sued the State Department after being denied a gender-neutral passport. Mx. Zazim is intersex; Her original birth certificate identified her as male and her drivers license listed her as female according to court documents.
There were many court battles with Mx. Zazim, the department argued that its current binary sex designation is necessary to communicate with state and federal agencies and confirm eligibility. The department also said that adding another gender category to the information system would require time and money. A federal judge ruled against the government, and last year, offered a court of appeals for the 10th Circuit A mixed opinion, Stating that the State Department denied MX for only two of the five reasons. Zazim’s passport was valid.
“A chef may label a jar of salt a jar of sugar, but the label salt does not sweeten any,” the Court of Appeal wrote. “Nor are intersex people required to mark ‘man’ or ‘woman’ on an application, which makes passports more accurate.” The judges stated that Mx. Zazim’s experience “shows the inevitable mistakes of a binary sex policy” and asks the State Department to rethink MX. Passport application of Zazim.
“We do not comment on pending litigation,” a State Department official said in response to questions about the status of MX. Passport of Zazim.
Nine States Attorney General Entered a brief In support of MX. Zazim during the appeal, arguing that more states are changing their laws around gender markers, and as many as 90 million Americans “live in a jurisdiction that issues an identity containing a non-gender determination.” “
“We hope that the State Department, under the Biden administration, will issue a request for an exact passport of Dan Zazim,” Paul Castillo, MX. Zazim’s legal counsel wrote in the email. “No person should lie about who they are to get the correct identification and travel documents.”
In some states, such as California and Oregon, a third gender option is offered on birth certificates and driver’s licenses, and amending those documents is possible without medical certification. Oregon had the X option in its first two years, More than 3,500 residents Chose it on their driver’s license or other state’s identity. In California, 1,300 people opted for gender-neutral identity documents within months of the category being available. Some airlines have responded to state changes by adding an unknown or unspecified option to the gender question for passengers.
Last year, Representative Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California, introduced A bill For Congress, which would direct the State Department to allow applicants to choose X for their gender on federal documents without restriction. There has been no movement regarding the bill.
An executive order by President Biden required federal agencies to add an X gender designation, which would not directly affect state laws. But the MX. Christians hope that the actions of the federal government will set an example for states to follow.
“We’ve seen a lot of improvement in the public’s understanding of the need for access to the right ID,” MX. Christian said. “We have made a lot of progress in the states, but we still have many states with heavy burden to update the sex ratio. This is going to be a huge progress. “