A bill under consideration in California would place a third gender option on state documents — which, if it passes would make California the first state in the country to do so.
The effort, however, is not being pushed by the “transgender movement,” but rather by people who are biologically neither male nor female — or, alternatively, both.
According to a report by Sacramento’s local CBS affiliate (CBS13), it all started last year in New York: “Sara Kelly Keenan made international headlines last year when New York City issued her the first ever birth certificate with an ‘intersex’ classification in the gender field, instead of male or female.
‘My body looks quite different from other women,” Keenan told CBS 13, who uses ‘she’ as a pronoun.
Keenan says she was born intersex — having male genes, with female genitalia and mixed internal reproductive organs. Keenan kept her story secret for most of her life, but now that she is legally recognized, she wants to help others who feel they are neither man nor woman, but ‘non binary.’”
Now Keenan is at the California State Capitol — joining with Carly Mitchell, another non-binary individual, lobbying legislators to pass a law “allowing a third, non binary option on IDs including birth certificates and driver’s licenses.”
Jazz Shaw, writing at the conservative HotAir blog, contends that the California effort has “nothing to do with the entire phenomenon of ‘transgenderism’ or variously gender dysphoria or gender impersonation.” However, there is still strong opposition to the idea of recognizing a third gender classification from conservative Christian groups like the California Family Council.
(Update: The CBS report that the “third gender” option is not being pushed by the “transgender movement” appears to be untrue. The sponsors of the bill, according to a Democrat Caucus Fact, sheet are transgender activist groups: Equality California and the Transgender Law Center.)
“I don’t think people realize the implications on letting people pick what sex they are,” the California Family Council’s Greg Burt told Sacramento’s CBS 13.
“If you change sex to be a description of someone’s feelings, then anyone can claim to be a male or female,” says Burt.
Shaw argues “[t]his is a medical condition which is well known and documented,” and which forced many parents at birth to “pick a gender” — not knowing the implications of that “choice” on their children’s future self-image.
Pointing out that this condition is often “incorrectly referred to by the term ‘hermaphrodite,’ Shaw quotes the American Psychological Association definition of “intersex”:
“A variety of conditions that lead to atypical development of physical sex characteristics are collectively referred to as intersex conditions. These conditions can involve abnormalities of the external genitals, internal reproductive organs, sex chromosomes or sex-related hormones. Some examples include:
- External genitals that cannot be easily classified as male or female.
- Incomplete or unusual development of the internal reproductive organs.
- Inconsistency between the external genitals and the internal reproductive organs.
- Abnormalities of the sex chromosomes.
- Abnormal development of the testes or ovaries.
- Over- or underproduction of sex-related hormones.
- Inability of the body to respond normally to sex-related hormones.”
Keenan made it clear in her interview, in front of the state Capitol, that her quest was to help non-binary people “feel less invisible,” by having their gender accurately recorded on state documents.
“Society doesn’t understand that we exist,” says Keenan.