Rule gives Oregonians non-gender option on driver's license

17 June, 2017, 11:21 | Author: Clay Erickson
  • Oregon just became first state to allow residents to identify their gender as non-binary on state ID

OR is showing its pride this month!

M - OR has become the first state to think outside the gender boxes on driver's licenses, going beyond the male "M" and female "F" to add "X" as a choice for residents who don't identify as either. The International Civil Aviation Organization, which develops passport standards, has recommended an "X for unspecified" option since 1996, according to NBC.

The precedent for the move to allow people to identify as gender-neutral came after a Multnomah County Circuit Court ruled a woman could legally change her gender from "female" to "non-binary". Following Shupe's win, at least 12 other people in OR and California have changed their gender designation to non-binary OR agender. "The state of OR sees me for who I am". OR isn't the only state working to improve gender marker options on official documents.

The policy comes at a time when the U.S.is becoming somewhat more receptive to the idea that gender identity - whether you feel yourself to be male, female, or other - is about self-perception, and distinct from the sex you're assigned at birth.

"The "X" is in use internationally, and in fact it's a standard recommended by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators", said David House, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles. Several countries, including Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Bangladesh have acknowledged the need to recognize non-binary genders for years. "This was always the right thing to do all along", he added.

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The state Senate passed a bill which, similarly to the OR legislation, would allow people to choose a third gender on official forms.

"Presenting an identification document that does not accurately reflect one's sex and is inconsistent with one's gender identity can trigger invasions of privacy, prejudice, stigma, violence, and discrimination and harassment in a wide variety of settings, including in employment, education, public accommodations, health care, housing, and interactions with the government, including with law enforcement", the group wrote.

During public hearings on the change, most comments were in favour, according to a summary by DMV officials.

Gender identity has become a major flashpoint across the United States in places like North Carolina, which passed a bill forcing students to use toilets according to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

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