US expands gender passport identification options
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U.S. passport holders who identify as nonbinary, intersex or gender-nonconforming will now have the option to officially self-identify as such on their passports, the Department of State announced on Wednesday, June 30.
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Additionally, the department will no longer require medical certification during the passport application process if an applicant’s self-selected gender differs from the gender on other citizenship or identity documents, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a press statement.
“The Department has begun moving towards adding a gender marker for nonbinary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport or CRBA,” said Blinken, who also noted that this is a “technologically complex process” that will take time.
Currently, the only gender options available for U.S. passport holders are M and F, for male and female respectively, and the third option will now be marked by an X to allow for gender-neutral individuals, as reported by the New York Times, which also noted that the U.S. will be joining more than six other countries already operating under similar measures, including Canada.
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“In line with the (Biden) Administration’s commitment to re-engage with allies and partners, the Department is taking these steps after considerable consultation with like-minded governments who have undertaken similar changes,” Blinken continued. “We also value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward. With this action, I express our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward.”
The department’s decision acknowledges the 20 states plus Washington, D.C., that already allow residents to mark M, F or X on their driver’s license, including Arkansas, Minnesota and California, as well as the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, among others.
Featured photo courtesy of Konrad Musial/EyeEm.
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