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Male, female or X? or adds third option to driver's licences
December 16 2017, 10:29 | Irvin Gilbert
Oregon just became first state to allow residents to identify their gender as non-binary on state ID
The process of adding the X option was kicked off last summer by a court order from the Multnomah County Circuit Court after a judge ruled that Army veteran Jamie Shupe could legally change genders from female to non-binary. The 2015 US Transgender Survey found that many gender-nonconforming people were verbally harassed, denied services, asked to leave venues, or even assaulted after showing an ID that didn't list their preferred name or gender. The new policy represents a unanimous move Thursday by the Oregon Transportation Commission, reportsReuters, and goes into effect July 1.
Activists hope an "X" gender designation is on the way in other states, and eventually, for US passports.
OR is officially the 1st state to recognize non-binary residents on their driver's licenses and IDs.
The June 2016 landmark decision allowed Jamie Shupe to change her gender to non-binary, which refers to gender identities that do not fall into the binary categories of male and female.
The decision, approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission on Thursday, could affect thousands of people.
According to the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, an estimated 20,000 Oregonians identify as transgender - about 0.65 percent of the state's overall population, making it the state with the seventh-highest trans population in the country. Just last month, Brown signed a bill into law making it easier and cheaper for Oregonians to revise the gender marker on their birth certificate - filling out a form instead of posting a public notice and going to court. It did not need legislative action because state law does not specify that drivers must choose male or female. "Removing barriers for people is critical to helping all of us live healthy, productive lives".
OR officials said they got little opposition to the change at a public hearing or in comments.
Australia and New Zealand already have the option to choose an "X" gender on passports, and in India the options include "male", "female" and "eunuch". "Ideally, my child will grow up in a world and an OR that recognizes and sees them for who they are, no matter how they identity". OR beat to the punch California, where a broader bill is moving through the legislature to allow a gender-neutral choice on licenses and other documents, such as birth certificates.