The US Department of State issued the country’s first passport with an “X” gender marker to implement gender inclusion policies, the department announced on Wednesday (27).
The department announced in June that it would update its procedures to allow candidates to select their passport sex marker and that it “will no longer require a medical certificate” if a candidate’s chosen sex marker does not match the sex listed on other official identity documents .
“As the secretary announced in June, the Department is moving towards adding a gender X marker for non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming people who apply for a passport,” state spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. communicated.
“I want to reiterate, at the time this passport is issued, the State Department’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity and equality of all people — including LGBTQIA+ people.”
The new marker option will be offered to passport applicants after the department completes the system and forms updates in early 2022, Price said.
Transgender rights activists have long argued that having inaccurate identities can lead to harassment and discrimination for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
In a statement recognizing Intersex Awareness Day, the US State Department said on Monday that it was US policy to end “violence and discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, identity or expression of gender and sexual characteristics”.
The United States joins Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries with similar gender-inclusive passport policies.
At least 20 US states and Washington have also implemented similar changes to state documentation, including New Jersey, which enacted the change in April after postponing it last year due to the new coronavirus pandemic.