Portland, Maine, Jun 20, 2017 / 12:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Starting next month, Oregon will be the first state to offer a non-binary option on forms of DMV identification for residents who do not identify as male or female. Oregon residents will have the option to mark “X” instead of female or male on state IDs, driver’s licenses, and learner’s permits. The X is for non-binary, meaning the individual identifies as something other than either sex. This may include non-gender or some combination of both sexes.
The state’s Transportation Commission approved the option on Thursday, and it will officially go into effect on July 3. It follows an Oregon judge’s decision last year to recognize an army veteran’s legal change to non-binary sex; the first state in the U.S. to do so. Jamie Shupe, who won the decision to change recognized genders last June, provoked the state’s transportation department to decide how to officially recognize and record “third-gender” residents.
Shupe had entered the army as a man and was discharged as a woman, but, according to the Guardian, he claimed to have continued struggling with his identity until he believed he was something other than male or female. There are nearly 20,000 Oregon residents who recognize themselves as transgender, making it one of the top 10 per capita transgender states in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute, a sexual orientation and gender identity think tank at UCLA law.
Oregon’s new policy has joined it with countries like Germany, Pakistan, India, Australia, and Canada who also offer a “third-gender” option, according to the BBC. California is close behind with a similar proposed policy, which would not only offer a third binary option on driver’s licenses but birth certificates as well. The bill recently passed California’s senate in May and has been sent to the state assembly.