The U.S. State Department announced today that it will work toward adding an “X” gender designation for those people who say they are “non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming” passport applicants.
The new policy announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinkin says there will no longer need to be a medical certification to change the gender designation on your passport. He did not say when the new rule would go into effect, but said it would take some time.
Last year the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the State Department to reconsider its decision to deny a passport to a person who identifies as “intersex.”
“Today, I am pleased to announce that the Department will be taking further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex, by beginning the process of updating our procedures for the issuance of U.S. Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA),” Blinken said in a statement.
“Most immediately, we will be updating our procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender as “M” or “F” and will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents,” his statement said.
“The Department has begun moving towards adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport or CRBA. We are evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal. The process of adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons to these documents is technologically complex and will take time for extensive systems updates. The Department will also be working closely with its interagency partners to ensure as smooth a travel experience as possible for the passport holder,” he said.
According to Lambda Legal, which represented the plaintiff in this case, at least 10 other countries issue passports with options other than male or female. They include Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Germany, India, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand, and Pakistan.
Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia allow residents to obtain state driver’s licenses and state ID cards with neutral gender markers.
Blinken’s announcement is at this link: Proposing Changes to the Department’s Policies on Gender on U.S. Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad – United States Department of State.
More details of the new gender marker here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/need-passport/selecting-your-gender-marker.html