California Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Add Third Gender to Passports

U.S. Passport
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

A California lawmaker introduced legislation on Tuesday that would give U.S. passport holders another option to listing their gender as male or female.

Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-CA) bill would require the United States Department of State to add a “gender neutral” designation on applications for passports, a passport card, or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

“The current U.S. passport application only has male and female gender options, forcing those with nonbinary gender identities to choose one of the two, typically their gender assigned at birth,” the Hill reported.

“Respecting every American’s gender must extend to travel abroad,” Khanna said in a press statement. “The freedom to move and express yourself no matter what should be guaranteed in this country … Everyone in this country should have the freedom to express their preferred gender on passports.”

The Hill reported on the movement to erase the scientific reality of two biological sexes — male and female:

In the past, passport applications have been denied if applicants marked an “X” instead of choosing a male or female gender distinction. In 2018, a judge ruled in favor of Dana Zzyym in a lawsuit filed against the State Department after their passport application was denied for refusing to choose between a male or female gender distinction. However, the State Department continues to file appeals, prolonging the case that was first filed in 2015.

In the past decade, 15 states and the District of Columbia have begun offering nonbinary gender designations on identification cards.

“Without a doubt, we have further to go to achieve full equality for LGBT(Q) individuals,” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), vice-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus and member of the Transgender Equality Task Force, said in the Hill report. “But each act of openness and acceptance is an important step towards true equality for everyone.”

Khanna’s bill, which is called the Gender Inclusive Passport Act, has not been assigned to a House committee, according to the Hill.

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